Richard Mabey Turning the Boat for Home
Richard Mabey. Credit: Elizabeth Orcutt

Norfolk-based Richard Mabey will appear in conversation with another Norfolk-based writer and naturalist Patrick Barkham on 7 November 2019

Discussing the climate crisis, swifts, kingfishers, the value of nature for mental health, urban nature, rewilding and more

‘The nation’s favourite nature writer.’ Sunday Telegraph

Turning the Boat for Home
Book cover: Turning the Boat for Home by Richard Mabey

Britain’s most influential nature writer, Richard Mabey, is set to appear at a one-off event in Suffolk to discuss his most recent publication.

Richard Mabey, honorary president of Waveney & Blyth Arts, will talk about his new collection of essays, Turning the Boat for Home, reflecting on a lifetime of close observation and celebrating the positive force of the natural world.

Hosted by arts group Waveney and Blyth Arts, the event will take place at The Cut in Halesworth.

As one of the foremost nature writers in the UK, Richard has an extraordinary knowledge and understanding of the natural world, and an ability to portray it with great insight, sensitivity and humanity.

Patrick Barkham. Credit Marcus Garrett

In conversation with Norfolk-based writer and naturalist Patrick Barkham (Islander, The Butterfly Isles and Badgerlands) he will look back over a lifetime’s work, including 19 published books, and reflect on his new collection of essays.

For five decades Richard Mabey has been a pioneering voice in modern nature writing. From the rediscovery of foraging that led to Food for Free, through his ground-breaking expeditions in the “edgelands” in the 1970s, to his reflections on the musicality of bird-song, he has consistently explored new ways of thinking about nature and its relation to our lives

In Turning the Boat for Home, he introduces pieces from his rich writing life that reflect on how his ideas evolved.

Richard said: “I’m looking forward to returning to the Cut, always a lively venue and on my home turf. I’m especially pleased to being interviewed by Patrick Barkham, the Guardian’s environment correspondent. We’re friends and share many concerns.”

In his new book, and from a new viewpoint (‘the slow-moving carapace’ of a boat on the Norfolk Broads), Richard ponders the migration of geese and the home-loving whirligig beetles. His epiphany is that a sense of “neighbourliness” may be the best model for our relationship with the rest of the living world.

Patrick Barkham said: “We in East Anglia are so lucky to have a living legend like Richard Mabey in our midst. For years, he single-handedly kept nature writing in Britain alive. He has been an inspiration for a whole new generation of writers, thinkers, naturalists and wildlife-lovers.

“For anyone interested in the climate crisis, Extinction Rebellion, swifts, kingfishers, the value of nature for mental health, urban nature, rewilding – Richard has revealing insights on it all. And he was considering these issues years before the rest of us.

“I can’t wait to chat to him at Halesworth about all this and more. Please join us and we can have a great discussion together.”

The talk will be followed by a Q&A session, with books on sale for signing by both writers.

The event will be preceded by Waveney & Blyth Arts’ Annual meeting for members and guests from 6pm to 7pm. All are welcome.

Tickets are £10 (Waveney & Blyth Arts members £8) in advance from The Cut box office or on 0300 303 3211 (Tuesday – Saturday 11am – 2pm) or email [email protected] or visit

Discover Doggerland

The Cut, New Cut, Halesworth IP19 8BY
For more information visit

Story by Kate Royall [email protected]



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