Apr 06, 2022

Environment and the natural world

Audiences interested in the environment and the natural world are in for a couple of special treats at this year’s Guernsey Literary Festival.

Visiting speakers include award-winning teenage conservationist Dara McAnulty and a man who is an acknowledged expert on the importance of insects and their preservation, Dave Goulson.

Dara McAnulty is a 17-year-old naturalist and conservationist, whose award-winning book Diary of a Young Naturalist documents a year of his life and his encounters with nature and provides an insight into his experiences as an autistic teenager pursuing environmental activism.

Dara, who is from Northern Ireland, started by writing his blog Naturalist Dara for over three years, before publishing Diary of a Young Naturalist, which won the 2020 Wainwright Prize for Nature Writing, and was longlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize – the youngest ever author to do so.

He went on to win The Booksellers Association Books Are My Bag Readers Award for non-fiction, the An Post Irish Book Awards Newcomer of the Year, and his most recent award was the British Book Awards Narrative Non-fiction Book of the Year. An incredible, record-breaking achievement for a teenager yet to sit his A-levels.

Guernsey Literary Festival audiences will be able to join Dara in conversation as he talks about how we can use the outdoors for entertainment, education and relaxation, the pressures faced by young campaigners as their political influence continues to grow, and life with his family, raised on Seamus Heaney and classic punk rock.

Diary of a Young Naturalist is on Saturday 25 June from 12:30-13:30 at the Princess Royal Centre for Performing Arts. Tickets £12/£6 are available on the Festival website, guernseyliteraryfestival.com

Dave Goulson’s book: Silent Earth - Averting the Insect Apocalypse, was a Sunday Times bestseller – indeed, his reviewer urged readers to 'read this book, then look and wonder'.

Insects are fascinating, beautiful, and vitally important: without them ecosystems would grind to a halt. Dave Goulson will explain why insects are declining, and the consequences if we allow this to continue. He will then consider the many ways that we can all get involved in saving our insects, from making our gardens more insect-friendly to supporting systems of farming that are truly sustainable. This talk is sponsored by PraxisIFM

Dave Goulson is Professor of Biology at University of Sussex, specializing in bee ecology. He has published more than 300 scientific articles on the ecology and conservation of bumblebees and other insects. He is the author of Bumblebees; Their Behaviour, Ecology and Conservation, published in 2010 by Oxford University Press, and of the Sunday Times bestseller A Sting in the Tale, a popular science book about bumble bees, published in 2013 by Jonathan Cape, and now translated into seventeen languages. Four more bee books have followed.

He founded the Bumblebee Conservation Trust in 2006, a charity which has grown to 12,000 members.

In his Guernsey Literary Festival talk Dave Goulson will reveal the shocking decline of insect populations that has taken place in recent decades and the potentially catastrophic consequences.

Eye-opening and inspiring, Silent Earth is a call to arms for profound change at every level and a passionate argument for us to love, respect and care for our six-legged friends.

Dave Goulson’s talk, Silent Earth - Averting the Insect Apocalypse, is at 17.30 on Saturday 25 June at the Princess Royal Centre for Performing Arts. Tickets, priced £12/£6 are available from Festival website, guernseyliteraryfestival.com