Joseph Starling is now in print and 2 more are nearly ready to print - Chrissie the Crested Tit based around Speyside and a new series based on Rent a Species with the first book called RentaFox based in an urban area. So much wildlife is badly abused by humans these days as they don't know how to use nature to their best ability.
Do you know that an estimated 1 million rats are killed by Foxes every year in London alone!! And at the same time poison is used to kill Rats which works its way up the food chain killing many species of birds and mammals including manny Foxes. Work in Norway has found traces of rat poison in humans [not including warfarin which can be used to thin blood in humans]. There has been many cases where rat poison can enter the human food chain with one case in USA where grain was shipped in from another country only for it to be used for dog food killing 1000s of dogs! So what would happen if it had been used for bread!!
Another book I would like to see reach the adults and children [adults reading it first to the children] is Belle the Barn Owl. This was the last book published by Ian at Langford Press but sadly it was the year Ian died and the book hardly hit the shops. Its art work was painted by Dan Powell who is doing the work in RentaFox and it alone is worth the book in any collection! Dan is also working on a series for Pelagic Publishing with the first one out now called 'The Red Kite's Year' written by Dan and Ian Carter.
Chrissie on the other hand has had the brush of John Davis. Both John and Dan added work to Joseph Starling so i asked John if he fancied doing a full book for me and the work was brilliant. I have been visiting Speyside at least once every year and have even run trips with my son's business 'Nature Scotland' at the Grant Arms Hotel. I am back at the hotel again this year giving a talk on 'Yorkshire - Not just a White Rose' and hopefully with Ewan in the winter.
Historically I first visited Speyside in 1977 as a warden at Vane Farm with a few days spare hitch hiking up the A9 and back again having slept in the hide at the Loch Garten centre. The return trip was one I will never forget as the driver was smoking 'pot' out of a 'hubble bubble' or Hookah used in the Middle East. Walking from the A9 back to Vane Farm was fun even though I had not added the pipe to my lips!!
Who would have known that I was to return there as the 'Osprey Warden' in 1980 working with Stuart Taylor. What a great experience that was and years later they offered me the full time job as the 'Cairngorm Warden' . At the time I had just bought my first house working at Geltsdale [Jockey Shield] so turned it down and we still live in the house to this day even though I left the RSPB in 1991.
Having said all that the big news is that I will be at Bird fair at Rutland not just with a stand but the sponsor of the children's section 'The Wild Zone'. How great is that!! After all those years working with wildlife it is time to give something to the children of tomorrow! Having 2 present grandchildren you must start to worry about what future we are going to leave them. Wildlife is a must for this planet and the more there is the better for everyone. Just ask Todd my character in RentaFox!