Thurs 19 Oct / Where The Wildflowers Grow

Thurs 19 Oct / Where The Wildflowers Grow

Sophie Pavelle will be talking to Leif Bersweden about why we must prioritise plant diversity, the pursuit of plants in a warming world, why our attitude to plants needs a serious makeover, and the importance of joy, awe and wonder when it comes to finding a meaningful connection with the natural world. 

Leif's book, Where the Wildflowers Grow: My Botanical Journey Through Britain and Ireland was recently long-listed for the Wainwright Prize, alongside Sophie Pavelle's Forget-Me-Not.

Our resident flora is packed full of remarkable creatures. There are plants that poison predators, fight battles and play mind games with pollinators. We have carnivores and climbers, puppeteers and parasites. Some are giants thousands of years old, while others are tiny pinpricks a millimetre across. In 2021, Leif Bersweden went on a botanical adventure around Britain and Ireland with his bike, travelling from Hampshire’s Bluebell woods to the shores of Shetland, to track down our most intriguing and well-known plants with the people who love them most dearly. Where the Wildflowers Grow follows him on that journey as he botanises his way through an entire calendar year, meeting our plants, telling their stories and exploring people’s connection to their local flora. Plants are capable of extraordinary things that we rarely hear about or give them credit for, and Leif is here to share their ways with new audiences. This talk, like the book, is all about the joy of engaging with nature, the importance of plants for our climate, and celebrating our unbelievable botanical diversity. Bio Leif Bersweden is a writer, botanist and nature communicator with a face-down, bottom-up approach to watching wildlife. He grew up in rural Wiltshire where he taught himself how to identify the local flora and has championed our wild plants and the joy they bring ever since. He is the author of The Orchid Hunter (2017) and Where the Wildflowers Grow (2022).

Sophie Pavelle is a science communicator from Exeter, Devon. Her debut book Forget Me Not: finding the forgotten species of climate-change Britain, was published by Bloomsbury in 2022 and won The People’s Book Prize for Non-Fiction (2023) and was longlisted for the 2023 James Cropper Wainwright Prize for Conservation Writing. She works as the Communications Coordinator for Beaver Trust. She is an Ambassador for the Wildlife Trusts and sits on the RSPB England Advisory Committee, and is a Trustee for UNESCO Exeter City of Literature. Her writing appears in New Scientist, National Geographic Traveller, The Guardian, and others.

Leif & Sophie will be signing books on the night.

This event will be taking place in McCoys Arcade, hosted by Bookbag and Sacred Grounds. Refreshments will be available. 

Tickets are £5 and can be bought directly from Bookbag, or via eventbrite

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