ReWild – The Art of Returning to Nature By Nick Baker | Aurum Press | Hardback | June 2017 | 275 Pages | ISBN: 9781781316559


The Publisher’s View: As our busy, technology-driven lives become more sedentary and less connected to wildlife, it is important to remember the natural, human connection we have to the wilderness. Nick Baker, naturalist and wildlife presenter, takes the reader back to our natural instincts. Journeying through the senses, his expert advice offers the practical tools to experience the wilderness on your own doorstep as well as in the wider, wilder world. From learning to observe the creatures and beasts within hands’ reach and seeing and hearing the birds and trees of our forests, to an introduction to rewilding as a concept and the importance nature has to the wider world. Nick’s vivid text mixes memoir with practical advice to entertain, inform and inspire us to get back to nature. ReWild is a beautiful and important exploration of the art of returning to nature.

The Author: Nick Baker is an edgy, exciting TV presenter with incredible drive and passion. He hosts BBC Autumnwatch Unsprung and Springwatch Unsprung and presented the popular long-running Weird Creatures series (C5 / Animal Planet). He has presented on Harry Hill’s TV Burp, with Vic Reeves in Pirate Ship Live and on Tomorrow’s World. Nick appears on many of our much loved UK TV shows such as Loose Women, The Alan Titchmarsh Show, The Paul O’Grady Show, BBC Breakfast, Inside Out, and Richard & Judy.

Fatbirder View: I’ve always liked Nick Baker, but confess to having an image of him as a boyish TV presenter fascinated by the wild world, but often not catching up with what he is chasing, whether it be a dipper on a Devon stream or a miniscule chameleon in Madagascar’s unique environment.

His charm is often in this seeming innocence; whereas Chris Packham or Bill Oddie seem to be bags of environmental expertise, Nick seems to be the wide-eyed fan or follower. As this book very eloquently demonstrates he is in fact jam-packed with biological lore with every bit as much to teach us amateur wildlife lovers as those two icons. Rewild is a call to arms in the fight to bring back nature in our lives. I assumed it would be about re-wilding the world, which it is in part, but it is far more about rediscovering the wildness in ourselves. It might equally have been entitled ‘use your senses’ as it is largely an instruction manual on how to use what we were born with to observe rather than content ourselves with the stunted use of sight, hearing and the rest we have adopted. As such it will help anyone who loves nature to engage more and get more from it. Nick sees this as an essential prerequisite to re-wilding. We first must recognise our natural state and see nature’s marvel in our own potential and so steep ourselves so much deeper in the natural world. Along the way Nick imparts plenty of pearls from his education and experience in a delightful, candid and revealingly autobiographical way. This may not be as politically important as the other clarion calls to re-wild our world, but unless the world has more of the personal journeys he advocates that political head of steam will not boil over into environmental action. One might see Nick’s personal re-wilding as the psychological equivalent of the socio-political tradition of Silent Spring or George Monibiot’s journalism. Others might see this as part of the current trendy mindfulness kick, but then others might not realise that the concept of mindfulness is about as new as Noah’s Ark. Chris Packham’s Fingers in the Sparkle Jar was my book of 2016. Nick Baker’s ReWild is my book of 2017!

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