At the inaugural Balham Literary Festival, a gathering of Nature Writers, Landscape Writers and Writer writers came together to discuss the state of the natural world. Here’s my report on what I saw and heard.
Is it possible to be haunted by a place? I think that I may be. In this case it is Ashley Vale in Bristol – an exceptional urban oasis caught between the tracks, containing allotments, woods, hilltops and a pub next door to a farm.
From the blurb on my copy of H is for Hawk it was pretty clear that the book was about Helen Macdonald and Goshawks and TH White and grief. I didn’t mistake the book for the Observer’s Book of Goshawks and feel outraged by all the snot and tears.
I read it and loved it. Only then, did I discover that there are, apparently, very strict rules, about how Nature Writing should be done…