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2022 lineup

We welcomed some of the most respected and influential nature writers to Shaftesbury for the Book Festival.

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Keggie Carew won the Costa Biography of the Year in 2016 for her memoir, DADLAND. Costa judge, Mary Loudon, described it as the "most unconventional biography" she had ever read. Quicksand Tales followed in 2019. Marcus Berkmann wrote, ‘every reader will end the book astonished that she’s still alive. Uncategorisable, unignorable, and unique, this is already one of my books of the year.’

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Ben Hoare is clear that he's super proud to be a nature nerd. He has always been obsessed by animals, plants and other living things.

Since graduating from university in 1996, Ben has written and edited enough natural-history books and magazines to fill his bookshelves to overflowing. He counts his lucky stars that sharing his passion is how he earns a living.

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Stephen Moss is one of Britain’s leading nature writers, broadcasters and wildlife television producers. A lifelong naturalist, he is passionate about communicating the wonders of the natural world to the widest possible audience.

Stephen's special areas of knowledge include British wildlife; birds and climate change; the social history of wildlife-watching; getting children back in touch with nature; and UK environmental issues.

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Robin Walter is a writer, forester, arborist, environmental campaigner and musician. He worked as a woodland officer for the Woodland Trust for many years and contributed to Arboreal, Little Toller's 2016 anthology of woodland writing.

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Mary Colwell is a producer and writer interested in all aspects of the natural world. She particularly drawn to the complex and shifting interface between wildlife and society, where the most inspiring and difficult issues lie. 

Mary  is Chair of the Curlew Recovery Partnership England, Chair of the Steering Group and a trustee of New Networks for Nature, an alliance of scientists, conservationists and artists.


Tim Laycock is an acknowledged expert on the folk traditions and oral culture of Dorset. As a creative artist, he has spent many years collecting legends, yarns and songs, and exploring the rich folk life of the area. He loves to share and pass on Dorset stories to the next generation.

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Christopher Nicholson was born in London in 1956 and lives in Southwest England. Among the Summer Snows (2017) is a meditation on life and loss, organised around a series of walks to the great beds of snow that survive deep into the summer in the Scottish mountains. It was shortlisted for the 2017 Boardman Tasker Award for Mountain Literature, and longlisted for the Highland Book Prize.

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Yuval Zommer graduated from the Royal College of Art with an MA in Illustration. He worked for many years as a creative director at leading advertising agencies before becoming the author and illustrator of highly acclaimed non-fiction. Yuval has sold over 1 million books worldwide.

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Dave Goulson is a passionate ambassador for insects “the little creatures that make our shared world go round”. Professor of Biology at the University of Sussex, he is best known for his work on Bumblebees and  founded the Bumblebee Trust in 2006. He has written eight books, one of his most popular, 'A Sting in the Tale' (2013), has been translated into fifteen languages.

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Philip Marsden is the award-winning author of a number of works of travel, fiction and non-fiction, including The Bronski House, The Spirit-Wrestlers, The Levelling Sea and, most recently, The Summer Isles. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and his work has been translated into fifteen languages.

After years of travelling, he now lives in Cornwall.

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Brigit Strawbridge Howard is a bee advocate, wildlife gardener and amateur naturalist, and author of Dancing with Bees. She writes, speaks, and campaigns to raise awareness of the importance of native wild bees and other pollinating insects. She lives in Cornwall with her husband, Rob.

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