Charity boss reflects on the region’s wilds

Blawearie, Bewick Moor. Picture by Darryn Wade Photography
Blawearie, Bewick Moor. Picture by Darryn Wade Photography

The chief executive of Northumberland Wildlife Trust continues to indulge his passion for writing and his third book will be published this month.

Mike Pratt’s My Wild Northumbria is an exploration, in connected essay form, of the diversity of landscape, wildlife and spirit of place, throughout the ancient Kingdom of Northumbria.

Mike draws on his encounters and memories as he journeys through the ‘wilds’ from the Scottish Borders to the Humber Estuary, all of which he sees as one, cohesive, natural kingdom.

He reflects on his experiences and his reaction to the places and things he sees along the way and is inspired by the feel of pre-history and history that still runs, like a thread, across the North East.

From moor to bog, forest to coast, mountain and hill to the urban green spaces in between, and from the head to the heart to the feet of Northumbria, the book offers a personal insight into natural Northumbria.

He said: “I am from North Yorkshire, but spent much of my holiday childhood in Northumberland and the Wolds and have worked in Northumberland for ten years.

“When writing the book, I visited the familiar and the new and blended it together, to express my ‘mind map’ of Northumbria today, but it was the pure unspoilt qualities of landscape and feeling of apparent wildness I felt in this north Northumbria that set the whole tone and which I keep returning to throughout the book.

“We all have a different perception of the word wild – it’s all down to personal experience of nature. To some, a piece of urban woodland or meadow is wild and to many people the Cheviots are as natural, as wild, as it gets.”

My Wild Northumbria is published by Red Squirrel Press and is being launched on Tuesday, May 19, at 7pm in the Great North Museum: Hancock. The event is free and there is no need to book – just turn up.

Priced at £10, My Wild Northumbria will be available to buy from the launch date from Red Squirrel Press – www.redsquirrelpress.com – Northumberland Wildlife Trust’s online bookshop (£10 plus p&p), local bookshops and Amazon.