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.
‘Reads like a vivid and subtle nature programme for your mind’s eye. I finished this book sharing its author’s desire to look closer, to “walk in peace”, and – as he puts it – to “camp without camping”, and simply fall asleep beneath a tree.’ – DAMIAN LE BAS, THE STOPPING PLACES.
Neil Ansell is an award-winning television journalist with the BBC and a long-standing newspaper journalist. He is the author of Deep Country, Deer Island and The Last Wilderness which was shortlisted for the 2018 Wainwright Golden Beer and Highland Book Prizes.
Neil will be in conversation with Jude Cook, writer, reviewer, musician and song writer. He also teaches creative writing at the University of Westminster.