Caspar Henderson

The good old ways: nature’s best chance of recovery

Britain is one of the most nature-depleted places on Earth. The consequences for human wellbeing and resilience, as well as for non-human life, are grave. Conservationists and others say it doesn’t have to be this way. But when it comes to recovery, what should we aim for? How much can we know about what was

Caspar Henderson: A Book of Noises

47 min listen

My guest in this week’s Book Club podcast is Caspar Henderson, whose new book A Book of Noises: Notes on the Auraculous really is a journey into sound. He tells me why the music of the spheres – at least in this solar system – is a terrible racket, what we can learn from whale earwax, and

Britain’s lost rainforests

One of the most beautiful spots I know in Britain is a steep-sided gorge in Devon where the River Dart carves through the Dartmoor rock on its way to the sea. The trees on either side are small, twisted and covered in ferns, mosses and lichens, so that even on a dull day the colours,

Fish that swim backwards – and other natural wonders

In the Zhuangzi, a collection of tales attributed to the eponymous 4th-century BC Chinese philosopher, a frog that lives in a well boasts about its comfortable way of life to a visiting sea turtle. When the turtle describes its own existence in the vast expanse of the ocean, however, the frog has no idea what

The wilder shores of Britain

After kayaking solo in a November storm to a square mile of rock called Eilean a’Chleirich in the Summer Isles off the north-west coast of Scotland, and camping overnight on top of its cliffs, David Gange awoke to revelation. To the west he could see almost the entire length of the Outer Hebrides. To the

Raiders of the lost Ark

Years ago, in an ill-conceived attempt to break into natural history radio, I borrowed a nearly dead car from a friend in West Hollywood and drove across town to the Los Angeles Zoo to report on a project to save the California condor from extinction. By the 1980s the number of condors had — thanks