Paul Evans nature writer, 

Guardian Country Diarist, poet, 

broadcaster, journalist, senior lecturer in creative writing at Manchester Metropolitan University. 

Paul Evans Nature writer

Country diary: new snow lay on wings of fungi 

 

Wenlock Edge, Shropshire: The one-step-forward-two-steps-back dance between winter and spring had time yet but many of the animals and plants had not

Overnight snow left anonymous gifts. Frost and a chill wind through the trees hardened what remained of the snowfall as the weather moved on, to leave a scattering of unopened envelopes. Snow on fungi: there was something very symbolic about these two kinds of ephemeral structures. The Armilaria fungi living in the rotten stump of a tree may have been what killed it. The fruiting bodies of russet flesh that bloomed from fibrous mycelium, forming a circuit between tree cells and a kind of organic afterlife in the soil, were now holding a frozen package of snow.

 

After days of sogginess with bright moments, the return of snow felt revenant. It was too clear and pure, even in its fleetingness. In Among the Summer Snows, Christopher Nicholson talked about the literary obsession with the whiteness of snow and quoted Shakespeare when Juliet declares that Romeo “wilt lie upon the wings of night/ Whiter than new snow on a raven’s back”. Love transcends death, or something..... 

Country Diary 2018

Country diary: birds heard but not seen in this glowing glade

24 Jan 2018

Guardain Country Diary 2017
Sun_fly_©_Maria_Nunzia__Varvera_

The footballer hoverfly is a little fist of bling. Wenlock Edge, Shropshire The stripy sun fly joins the summer swarm of insects to the opening of the festival of flowers.. The Guardian Country Diary 7 June 2017

Cow_parsley_©_Maria_Nunzia__Varvera_

The white pulse of May illuminates the lanes Wenlock Edge, Shropshire This is the cow parsley moment, its blossom making foamy bow waves against hawthorn hedges along the road. Guardian Country Diary 24 May 2017

Sweet_woodruff_©_Maria_Nunzia__Varvera_

Sweetness of woodruff lingers down the ages Benthall Edge, Shropshire This plant has had a symbolic, medicinal and folkloric importance for centuries Guardian Country Diary Wenlock Edge 10 May 2017 ​

apple-blossom_©_Maria_Nunzia__Varvera

The ancient magic of apple blossom time ​ Wenlock Edge We have lost so many old orchards here that this young tree will hopefully encourage future planting ​ Guardian Country Diary Wenlock Edge 3 May 2017 ​

Chalk_milkwort_©_Maria_Nunzia__Varvera_

Milkwort steals the show at Figsbury Ring Figsbury Ring, Wiltshire Sewn like gems into the sward, these little blue flowers take shelter in the lee of the earthwork rings Guardian Country Diary Wenlock Edge 26 April 2017 ​

Bee-fly_©_Maria_Nunzia__Varvera

The bee-fly is a true sprite of spring Croft Castle, Herefordshire The noble parasite is an actor in the uncanny drama of life feeding on life Guardian Country Diary Wenlock Edge 12 April 2017 ​

White_violets_©_Maria_Nunzia__Varvera_

Like love, violets gladden the heart Wenlock Edge Violets have a built-in nostalgia, a belonging to something that is always fleeting and longed for Guardian Country Diary Wenlock Edge 5 April 2017 ​

The_Light_Spout_©_Maria_Nunzia__Varvera_

Water spins into a million bubbles filled with light Guardian Country Diary 22 March 2017

Great_tit_©_Maria_Nunzia__Varvera_

Joking apart, the great tit is a born survivor Guardian Country Diary Wenlock Edge 8 March 2017

Hazel_Catkins_on_Wenlock_Edge_©_Maria_Nunzia__Varvera

Simplicity and symbolism in flowers and poems Guardian Country Diary Wenlock Edge 1 March 2017

Snowdrops_in_woods_on_Wenlock_Edge_©_Maria_Nunzia__Varvera

Snowdrops: something at last to cheer about Guardian Country Diary Wenlock Edge 22 February 2017

Dunnock_©_Maria_Nunzia__Varvera

Wenlock Edge With its riotous sex life and quick, edgy, movements, the hedge sparrow is like a little ticking bomb Guardian Country Diary Wenlock Edge 8 February 2017

Squirrel_©_Maria_Nunzia__Varvera___web_

These squirrels are not native. So what? Guardian Country Diary Wenlock Edge 1 February 2017

Sheep_Fleece_on_wire_©_Maria_Nunzia__Varvera

Wool on the wire that feeds on fog Guardian Country Diary Wenlock Edge 25 January 2017

Fence_post_commonland_©_Maria_Nunzia__Varvera

The tiny world in a rotten post top Guardian Country Diary, Wenlock Edge 11 Jan 2017

Fungus_growing_in_Shrewsbury_cemetery_©_Maria_Nunzia__Varvera_

Toadstools in a Shrewsbury graveyard Guardian Country Diary Shrewsbury 4 Jan 2017

Guardain Country Diary 2016
Hogweed_Flower_in_late_November_©_Maria_Nunzia__Varvera

Hogweed magic mocks the cold snap Guardian Country Diary Wenlock Edge 2 December 2016

Sky_at_dusk_over_Wenlock_Edge_©_Maria_Nunzia__Varvera_

All the colours of a November evening Guardian Country Diary Wenlock Edge 23 November 2016

Autumn_Colour_Wenlock_Edge_©_Maria_Nunzia__Varvera_

As autumn leaves fall, subversion is in the air Guardian Country Diary Wenlock Edge 9 November 2016

Harlequin ladybird in micro-woodland of moss on concrete

The harlequin ladybird is a clever little devil Guardian Country Diary Wenlock Edge 2 November 2016

Wood_pigeon_squab_©_Maria_Nunzia__Varvera_

No hiding place for a stranded squab Guardian Country Diary Wenlock Edge 26 October 2016

Hedge_woundwort_©_Maria_Nunzia__Varvera_

Blood and bandages: a healer in the hedgerow Guardian Country Diary Wenlock Edge 12 October 2016

Elder_berries_on_Wenlock_Edge_©_Maria_Nunzia__Varvera__copy

Why the elder is a gift of wonders Guardian Country Diary Wenlock Edge 5 October 2016

Robin_in_Crabapple_Tree_©_Maria_Nunzia__Varvera__copy

Robin's alarm flashes red for danger across the green space Guardian Country Diary Wenlock Edge 28 September 2016

Swallow_©_Maria_Nunzia__Varver_

A tide is turning for the swallows Guardian Country Diary Wenlock Edge 14 September 20016

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Feeding sparrows on Holy Island: an ethical dilemma Guardian Country Diary Holy Island 7 September 2016

1._Rabbit_©_Maria_Nunzia__Varvera_

Young rabbit considers us as a threat Guardian Country Diary Wenlock Edge 24 August 2016

Morfa_Beach_©_Maria_Nunzia__Varvera_P1530594_1024_1024

The Clearing Little Toller's journal for new writing Rain Sideways by Paul Evans A response to the Referendum exploring what leaving the EU could mean for conservation, wildlife and our relationship with the land.

Brown_-_lipped_snail_©_Maria_Nunzia__Varvera_

Adapted for land, but snails remain creatures of water Guardian Country Diary Wenlock Edge 10 August 2016

Spear_Thistle_©_Maria_Nunzia__Varvera_

Thistles: the darker side of summer Guardian Country Diary Wenlock Edge 27 July 2016

Harlech ©_Maria_Nunzia__Varvera_

This almost-island on the Welsh coast is a nowhere becoming somewhere Guardian Country Diary 13 July 2016

Windmill_Hill_©_Maria_Nunzia__Varvera_

Orchids paint the hill a sadder shade of pink Guardian Country Diary Wenlock Edge 6 July 2016

_Lodge_Hill ©_Maria_Nunzia__Varvera_

A summer of rain, roses and nightingales Guardian Country Diary 22 June 2016

Blackbird in Bedroom Maria Nunzia _Varvera

A bird in the house disturbs the order of things Guardian Country Diary Wenlock Edge 8 June 2016

pink campion Maria Nunzia _Varvera

Life-affirming flash of colour in the hedgerow Guardian Country Diary Wenlock Edge 1 June 2016

Blackbird by Maria Nunzia _Varvera

Spring happens all at once, and the woods feel giddy Guardian Country Diary Wenlock Edge 25 May 2016

Thrushling tests the edges

Thrushling tests the edges of its hedge-world Guardian Country Diary Wenlock Edge 11 May 2016

Floating crowfoot

Floating crowfoot toughs it out with the frogs Guardian Country Diary Wenlock Edge 4 May 2016

It's getting steamy in the hedgerow

It's getting steamy in the hedgerow Guardian Country Diary Wenlock Edge 27 April 2016

Towers in a landscape

Towers in a landscape Guardian Country Diary Wenlock Edge 13 April 2016

Crow and the vernal egg

Crow and the vernal egg Guardian Country Diary Wenlock Edge 31 March 2016

Guardian Country Diary Wenlock Edge

The Gothic Charm of Cormorants Guardian Country Diary Wenlock Edge 24 February 2016

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An extract from Herbaceous   by Paul Evans, published by Little Toller Books Yellow. p.28

A Monstrous Thing

A Monstrous Thing An extract from Field Notes From The Edge by Paul Evans, published by Rider Books, 2015 Chapter 3. Strand p.38 - p.41

Snowdrop

Snowdrop An extract from Herbacoues  by Paul Evans, published by Little Toller Books White. p.33 - p.34

10 February Guardian Country Diary W

The light that made me blink

Of wild doves and snowdrops

3 February 2016 Guardian Country Diary Wenlock Edge The pigeon cocked a conspiratorial eye at the dog as we walked by. A wind ferocious enough to peel the bird from its perch and blow it away had little effect. The pigeon sat out the squall with saintly patience.

Snipe are inspectors of rainstorms

13 January 2016 Guardian Country Diary Wenlock Edge. The snipe are not skulking, they’re invisible. Six stand together in the rushes beside Venus Pool, six winged probes the colour of winter marshes,

Something hungry moves in the trees

The feeling of just being watched does not make this place eldritch. A strange, otherworldly, wood, it can feel unsettling at the best of times.... Guardian Country Diary Wenlock Edge 6 January 2016

Nature photographs by Maria Nunzia @Varvera

Floating in the fog free of meanings. Guardian Country Diary Wenlock Edge 9 January 2016

BOOKS 

Paul Evans

 

Field Notes From The Edge

 

Journeys through Britain's Secret Wilderness  

Paperback published 6 April 2017 

A Times, Guardian and Independent 

'BOOK OF THE YEAR'

Green Letters 

Studies in Ecocriticism 

 

Review: Field Notes from the Edge by Prof. Terry Gifford, poet & ecocritic 

''From data to dream, from virus to vision, Field Notes from the Edge is not only the touchstone for future nature writers, it is, for readers, an exemplary and challenging reminder of why we should mitigate the Anthropocene from our own edgelands."

 

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For more information on availability to undertake, writing, radio, performances, interviews and photographic commissions or any further information please contact me using the email below.