A Spotter's Guide to Countryside Mysteries: From Piddocks to Lynchets to Witch's Broom

John Wright
Tuesday 26 April 2022
St Mary’s Barnes

A grown-up I-spy for the great outdoors that illuminates the details we might otherwise miss. The natural world is full of mysteries, whether the masses of twigs that look like abandoned nests, fuzzy red balls on roses, stranded ponds on hilltops, or even the shaded ways we walk along. One of Britain’s best-known naturalists, John Wright introduces us to the natural (and unnatural) mysteries of the countryside, giving us the tools to identify Witch’s Broom, Robin’s Pincushion, Dew ponds and Hollow Ways, and also their histories, how they come to be, and where to find them. From the enormous to the truly tiny he illuminates the oddities that pepper our countryside and the pleasure of spotting and understanding them. 

John’s book is beautifully illustrated, as well as being practical and entertaining. This talk is for anyone who has wondered what is that? or simply longs to get outside again.

John Wright is a naturalist and one of Great Britain’s leading experts on fungi. His most recent books include A Natural History of the Hedgerow and The Forager’s Calendar.He lives in Dorset, where he regularly leads forays into nature and goes on long walks across all terrains


‘He writes so engagingly … [This book] is a treasure. It is beautifully produced, designed and illustrated’ , John Carey, The Sunday Times

‘John Wright writes as though he’s talking directly to you, a good friend in the same room. His harvest of fascinating information is worn lightly, with funny, whimsical observations… this wonderful book should be well-thumbed by anyone who is interested in the natural world’, BBC Countryfile