Saturday, 21 July 2018

Professor wins book cash prize

Professor wins book cash prize

A NATURAL historian and palaeontologist from Henley has won a prize for his latest book.

Professor Richard Fortey has been awarded the Richard Jefferies Society and The White Horse Bookshop Writer’s prize for The Wood for the Trees: A Long View of Nature from a Small Wood.

He received the award and a £1,000 prize at the White Horse bookshop in Marlborough in Wiltshire, as part of the Marlborough Literary Festival on June 3.

His book, published in 2016, documents a notional year in the life of a four-acre plot in Lambridge Woods on the outskirts of town, which he bought in 2011.

Prof Fortey, who lives in St Andrew’s Road, said: “Writing about natural history is going through something of a renaissance and, with the threats to our living countryside, it has an important part to play in wise conservation.”

He added: “I had read some of Richard Jefferies’ classic nature writing as a young naturalist, and it was a particular honour to receive an award named after him.”

Prof Fortey’s discoveries while writing the book included a plant with no chlorophyll, a dormouse nest, seven species of bat and a jewel beetle, which is normally associated with the tropics, in the canopy of the trees.

Prof Fortey will be speaking at this year’s Henley Literary Festival and is hosting an event on October 2. More details will be announced later.

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