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Dara McAnulty is a naturalist, conservationist and activist from Northern Ireland. He's received many awards for his conservation work, including from BBC Springwatch, The Daily Mirror and Birdwatch magazine.
He's written and presented numerous natural history programmes for BBC radio and television, and become an ambassador for the RSPCA, the iWill campaign and the Jane Goodall Institute.
Dara is the youngest ever recipient of the RSPB medal for conservation. He lives with his family and Rosie the rescue-greyhound at the foot of the Mourne Mountains in County Down.
Diary of a Young Naturalist is his first book.
Diary of a Young Naturalist recounts a year in the life of an autistic and highly gifted 15 year old, struggling with school, bullies, moving house and fearing the decline of the natural world whilst rejoicing in it. Dara McAnulty is clearly an extraordinary person and a beautiful and mature writer. His descriptions of his adventures in nature are inspiring for children, but also sure to brighten the souls of many an adult too. The intensity with which nature presents itself to the author is overwhelming, and his ability to share this with the reader is enthralling. It’s a rollercoaster ride being in the head of this young man, but the book has the magic to open our eyes and ears to what beauty is around us each and every day - if only we looked! McAnulty's knowledge of wildlife and nature is simply extraordinary. His autism is a burden but also a super-power, providing him with piercing insight to a world that simply cannot be ignored with all its truth, tragedy and hope pouring out of every hedgerow, pond and dry stone wall. This is a diary which highlights our essential connection with the natural world, the landscape and our history embedded within it - but more importantly, it is also about our futures. Dara McAnulty is on a mission, and if the quality of this book is anything to go by, he will have a huge impact. For many children, this book will be the beginning of a wondrous journey. ~ Greg Hackett Greg Hackett is the Founder & Director of the London Mountain Film Festival