Thinking Country, by Ben Eagle
Ben’s blog is fast becoming my go-to resource for unbiased, pragmatic commentary on rural issues (particularly those associated with agriculture). Hailing from a farming background and focused on promoting dialogue and thus, bridging the gap between all facets of the environmental community, Thinking Country features opinion, personal musings and guest posts on everything from soils to sustainability and land-use. It is well worth a read for those looking to broaden their understanding of often complicated environmental issues. Regular forays into alternate fields such as seasonal recipes and book reviews, as well as Ben’s status as a damn good writer, help ensure that a visit to this blog is seldom boring.
Wildlife and Words, by Elliot Dowding
Elliot is a 23-year-old amateur naturalist and posts regularly on a range of topics including nature conservation and birdwatching. Unlike some of the others on this list, Wildlife and Words focuses greatly on the authors own perception of and experiences in nature – something which often leads to some excellent creative writing on the subject. Much of which, such as this post about the Mistle Thrush, reads just as well as any natural history book or author’s column. This blog gives a top-notch account of the seasons and helps readers enjoy wildlife-spectacles absent personal observation. I really could not recommend it more.
Knee Deep in Nature, by James Miller
The first (but not the last) younger naturalist to appear on this list, James Miller maintains Knee Deep in Nature as a personal journal. One detailing his exploits in the natural world through no end of fantastic photos, film, art and writing. Reading this blog is a sheer pleasure – largely due to James’s infectious enthusiasm for all things wild – but visiting serves a far greater purpose also: it shows that some young people, despite prevailing stereotypes, do care about the environment. By following the author’s progress, adventures and observations, as I do, you will be left feeling altogether optimistic for the future survival of the natural history. See this post regarding The Devil’s Coach Horse.
My Life Outside, by Adam Tilt
Continuing the trend of more traditional, observational blogs, My Life Outside details just that: the author’s adventures in the natural world. And in doing so, inspires readers to get up, go out, and look harder in search of wild allure. Adams blog has been around for some time now and forms a cornerstone of the UK Nature blogging community, allowing readers to live experiences they have yet to enjoy themselves and travel to places they have never visited. Written exceedingly well and often featuring some fantastic photography, this is the perfect blog for those seeking a natural fix when circumstances prevent you seeking out your own. See this post regarding Bramblings.
Kate on Conservation, by Kate Snowdon
Kate on Conservation is pretty unique among the nature blogs I regularly indulge in, focused on conservation in an international, as opposed to a local context. Indeed, as someone enthused primarily by British wildlife, I seldom read such sites, but this is the exception. Kate’s blog representing the perfect place to keep up to date with the latest happenings in global conservation, inform yourself about overseas projects and developments and, ultimately, learn how you, personally, can do something for wildlife. The author’s experience as a journalist really shines through when reading this blog, as does her enthusiasm for the world around her, and whether you are looking to broaden your own horizons or learn something new, I could not extol its virtues more if I tried. See this post regarding Jumbo the Elephant.
Wader Tales, by Graham Appleton
It is a rare blog that teaches you something new each and every time you visit, and a scarcer one still that manages to make complex research both comprehensible and enjoying to the average person. This, however, is exactly what Graham Appleton manages to do with Wader Tales, a blog which, in the authors own words, aims to celebrate wading birds and wader research. I, personally, found Graham’s blog extremely useful as a student looking to write about the topics covered here, but the subject matter featured on Wader Tales, and the way in which articles are presented and written, mean that everyone, not just those boasting prior knowledge of the field, are able to learn about the latest happenings in the field of wader research. Little wonder that this blog is so popular.
Well, that was part one of my 2018 reading list and I hope I have done those featured some level of justice with my comments. Stay tuned for part two…