The most entertaining and fascinating UK nature books

Why am I passionate about this?

As a UK nature writer and amateur naturalist, I have a fascination with the natural world. If it squeaks, buzzes, croaks, hisses, or tweets, I want to know more about it. I enjoy books that are both captivating and easy to understand, and I’m at my happiest when uncovering unusual facts and exploring the rich folklore surrounding our wildlife. As a writer, I contribute to magazines focusing on nature and wildlife-friendly gardening. I also teach creative writing and have authored a book celebrating the wonders of our UK wildlife. I live in Dorset and find endless joy in observing and nurturing whatever wanders or flies into my overgrown garden.


I wrote...

Nature's Wonders: Moments That Mark the Seasons

By Jane Adams,

Book cover of Nature's Wonders: Moments That Mark the Seasons

What is my book about?

An exploration of fifty magical moments that define our UK seasons. I wrote it for anyone who has ever wondered about nature and wanted to know more. Nature’s Wonders is packed with stunning photography, lyrical writing, and fascinating facts. 

From the first delicate blossoms to the last autumn leaves, each page celebrates the special moments of our natural world. I’ll introduce you to woodpeckers playing a role in protecting sensitive technology and dandelions, which are helping to make the production of rubber more eco-friendly. Whether you’re a seasoned nature enthusiast or a curious beginner, this book will revive your childlike curiosity.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Every Day Nature: How Noticing Nature Can Quietly Change Your Life

Jane Adams Why did I love this book?

I’m a big fan of books that teach me something, and this book does it 365 days of the year with the most fantastic writing.

I got into the habit of reading this book every day, then going out and searching for the wildlife. I love that it doesn’t concentrate on hard-to-see or rare creatures. You really feel as if he’s written each page just for you. 

By Andy Beer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Every Day Nature as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A fascinating, inspiring gift book that helps you make the most of nature, with something to spot for every day of the year.

A fascinating, inspiring gift book that helps you make the most of nature, with something to spot for every day of the year.

This book proves that nature isn't something you visit from time to time; it's everywhere - even in the densest concrete jungle. You can find nearly all of the natural wonders in this book within a mile of your front door. There are 365 to look for - one for every day of year,…


Book cover of British Wildlife: A Photographic Guide to Every Common Species

Jane Adams Why did I love this book?

This was the first wildlife reference book I ever owned, and I’ve never regretted buying it.

I still use it most days to identify birds on the bird feeder or bats flying over my house. It also includes great photos, which I personally prefer to drawings. This is a little gem that I have spent hours flicking through. 

By Paul Sterry,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked British Wildlife as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A comprehensive and heavily illustrated guide to every species of British wildlife, this book is the definitive photographic reference guide for nature enthusiasts.

Collins Complete Guide to British Wildlife allows everyone to identify the wildlife found in Britain and Ireland. The book is illustrated with beautiful photographs throughout, featuring the mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates you are most likely to see, as well as all the common plants.

By only covering Britain and Ireland, fewer species are included than in many broader European guides, making it quicker and easier for the reader to accurately identify what they have…


Book cover of Dancing with Bees: A Journey Back to Nature

Jane Adams Why did I love this book?

When the book was published, I couldn't wait to read it. I love reading about nature, especially bees, and also learning a few fascinating facts along the way, and this book didn’t disappoint.

It’s beautifully written by Brigit. I nearly read it in one sitting, as the chapters flow so temptingly from subject to subject. 

By Brigit Strawbridge Howard,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dancing with Bees as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Sunday Times Best Nature Writing Books 2020

SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2020 WAINWRIGHT PRIZE

A naturalist's passionate dive into the lives of bees (of all stripes) and the natural world in her own backyard

Brigit Strawbridge Howard was shocked the day she realised she knew more about the French Revolution than she did about her native trees. And birds. And wildflowers. And bees. The thought stopped her-quite literally-in her tracks. But that day was also the start of a journey, one filled with silver birches and hairy-footed flower bees, skylarks, and rosebay willow herb, and the joy that comes with…


Book cover of Collins Complete British Insects: A Photographic Guide to Every Common Species

Jane Adams Why did I love this book?

In the summer, this book takes over from British Wildlife as my favourite reference book that doesn’t bamboozle me with science. I nearly always find the insect I’m looking for and then inevitably spend half an hour lost in details of the plants it eats or places it lives.

I wouldn’t want to be without this book, and I regularly buy it as a present for friends and family. 

By Michael Chinery,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Collins Complete British Insects as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A photographic field guide to 1,500 species of insects found in Britain A photographic field guide to all the common and some unusual species of insects across Britain that the keen amateur naturalist is likely to spot. Approximately 1,500 species are illustrated with clear photographs chosen for their help in identification. / Details of distribution for each insect, and whether it is common or rare / Includes photographs of larvae / Each section is coded with a symbol for easy reference / Information on easily confused species / All the information on the species together in the same place Insect…


Book cover of Field Guide to the Bumblebees of Great Britain and Ireland

Jane Adams Why did I love this book?

I’m onto my second copy of this little book, as the first copy fell to bits from so much use. Though it’s a field guide, it’s not only easy to read and understand (even with my unscientific mind) but also full of useful little titbits of information.

Every spring, I can’t wait to take it off the bookshelf and use it to identify the enormous queen bumblebees emerging from hibernation in the garden. 

You might also like...

Who Is a Worthy Mother?: An Intimate History of Adoption

By Rebecca Wellington,

Book cover of Who Is a Worthy Mother?: An Intimate History of Adoption

Rebecca Wellington Author Of Who Is a Worthy Mother?: An Intimate History of Adoption

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

I am adopted. For most of my life, I didn’t identify as adopted. I shoved that away because of the shame I felt about being adopted and not truly fitting into my family. But then two things happened: I had my own biological children, the only two people I know to date to whom I am biologically related, and then shortly after my second daughter was born, my older sister, also an adoptee, died of a drug overdose. These sequential births and death put my life on a new trajectory, and I started writing, out of grief, the history of adoption and motherhood in America. 

Rebecca's book list on straight up, real memoirs on motherhood and adoption

What is my book about?

I grew up thinking that being adopted didn’t matter. I was wrong. This book is my journey uncovering the significance and true history of adoption practices in America. Now, in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, the renewed debate over women’s reproductive rights places an even greater emphasis on adoption. As a mother, historian, and adoptee, I am uniquely qualified to uncover the policies and practices of adoption.

The history of adoption, reframed through the voices of adoptees like me, and mothers who have been forced to relinquish their babies, blows apart old narratives about adoption, exposing the fallacy that adoption is always good.

In this story, I reckon with the pain and unanswered questions of my own experience and explore broader issues surrounding adoption in the United States, including changing legal policies, sterilization, and compulsory relinquishment programs, forced assimilation of babies of color and Indigenous babies adopted into white families, and other liabilities affecting women, mothers, and children. Now is the moment we must all hear these stories.

Who Is a Worthy Mother?: An Intimate History of Adoption

By Rebecca Wellington,

What is this book about?

Nearly every person in the United States is affected by adoption. Adoption practices are woven into the fabric of American society and reflect how our nation values human beings, particularly mothers. In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's overturning of Roe v. Wade, the renewed debate over women's reproductive rights places an even greater emphasis on adoption. As a mother, historian, and adoptee, Rebecca C. Wellington is uniquely qualified to uncover the policies and practices of adoption. Wellington's timely-and deeply researched-account amplifies previously marginalized voices and exposes the social and racial biases embedded in the United States' adoption industry.…


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