The Circling Sky - On Nature and Belonging in an Ancient Forest
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Om The Circling Sky
From a 2018 Wainwright Prize shortlisted author, THE CIRCLING SKY is part childhood memoir, blended with exquisite nature observation, and the story of one man's journey over a year to one of the UK's key natural habitats, the New Forest of Hampshire In the form of several journeys, beginning in January 2019, Neil Ansell returns for solitary walks to the New Forest in Hampshire, close to where he was born. With beautiful sightings and observations of birds, trees, butterflies, insects and landscape, this is also a reflective memoir on childhood, on the history of one of the most ancient and important natural habitats in the United Kingdom, and on the Gypsies who lived there for centuries - and were subsequently expelled to neighbouring cities. It is also part polemic on our collective and individual responsibility for the land and world in which we live, and how we care for it. As Neil Ansell concludes so eloquently, 'Evolution has no choice in what it does, but we do, as a species, if not always as individuals'.
A beautiful evocation of life in a forest and a powerful reminder of the interconnected fate of all wild things, including ourselves Like taking a refreshing and eye-opening walk in the open air with the most interesting, observant and companionable of guides. In The Circling Sky Neil Ansell reveals the remarkableness of the relatively unexotic New Forest, moving deftly from personal reflection to beautiful nature writing, to a crucial, timely argument about the history and importance of common land. Neil Ansell's series of walks in the New Forest through the course of a year coalesce into a skilful exploration of memory, childhood, and how certain landscapes can become an integral part of your life. Ansell is a gifted naturalist, sensitive, inquisitive, at times justly enraged, invariably joyful. The Circling Sky is a wonderful tribute to a unique and precious place Neil Ansell takes us on a thoughtful journey through the fabulous New Forest. He combines evocative description with an accurate naturalist's eye, in the best tradition of modern British nature writing. Neil Ansell is a wonderful guide...this is a delight of nature writing His articulate reminiscences and observations on history, wildlife and the changing landscape will make readers reflect on the world around us and our part - individually and collectively - in looking after it Neil Ansell is a writer of extraordinary sensitivity and insight An immersive delving into the delights of the New Forest. Neil Ansell writes with such warmth and such wonder on the wild - with vital eyes and mind he senses the essence of the world around him, tucked down in the landscape to observe better the life of the natural world His anecdotes gleam