Poppy Goes Wild, a new children’s book about a young girl rewilding her grandad’s farm, has been backed by celebrities such as Joanna Lumley and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.
In recent decades much of Britain’s wildlife has disappeared, with over half of our species in decline and 15% threatened with extinction.
Habitat loss, agricultural changes, pollution and climate warming have been deemed the key contributors to this.
But throughout the country, initiatives such as rewilding are being undertaken to restore the balance and to safeguard British wildlife for future generations.
Poppy Goes Wild, written by Sussex-based TV producer Nick Powell, sets out to highlight the importance of this for future generations.
The book sees the title character go on a mission to save her grandad’s farm by returning the countryside to how it was 50 years ago, when wildflower meadows and native wild animals flourished.
Hares hopped, skylarks soared, otters raced and peregrine falcons dive-bombed throughout the idyllic landscape.
Illustrated by Cornwall-based Becca Hall, the book demonstrates that you are never too young to start looking after nature with the story encouraging children and families everywhere to do what they can to help nature work its magic.
Writer and broadcaster Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall praises the message behind the book in its foreword.
“Many populations of insects, birds and small mammals, and the marine life around our coasts, have plunged to worrying levels. But now there is a glimmer of hope. Trees are being planted, patches of land are being allowed to overgrow, and wild flowers are encouraged to spring up once more,” he says.
“People are beginning to understand that simply leaving spaces where nature can be allowed to perform its restorative magic can hugely enhance our gardens and our landscapes, and will entice many of these embattled creatures to return and flourish. I urge you to be part of this rewilding movement, in any way you can. Be like Poppy, in this charming and inspiring story.”
Other household names offering praise for the book include actress Joanna Lumley, wildlife cameraman and TV presenter Gordon Buchanan, TV presenter and farmer Jimmy Doherty, and naturalist and BBC Springwatch presenter Iolo Williams.
Joanna Lumley said: “Poppy is the child we all long to be: brave, curious, headstrong, compassionate and the best fun in the world. Her love for wildlife will chime with children everywhere: an adorable book.”
Author Nick Powell says he has written the book in the hope that it will inspire determination in children to do what they can to look after wildlife.
“The key message for me in Poppy Goes Wild is that if you embrace the wonder of wildlife at a young age you will never look back – and the rewards will be there for you and for nature, for the rest of your life,” said Nick.
The book’s nature-friendly message has also been backed by the charity Rewilding Britain, who fight to tackle the climate emergency and extinction crisis.
Rebecca Wrigley, Chief Executive of Rewilding Britain, said: “Poppy Goes Wild is a delightful book that packs a powerful message of hope. Our wildlife is in dramatic decline, leaving today’s children deprived of so much natural wonder. But as Poppy discovers, if we let nature work its magic – if we think big and act wild – rewilding can offer us all a brighter future.”
Poppy Goes Wild is published by Little Steps Publishing and is available to buy online at Waterstones and Amazon and at your local bookshop. For more information, visit Little Steps Publishing’s website.
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