Part of our programming celebrating the Infinite Beauty exhibition at The Arc, author Richard Mabey will discuss his concept of the Unofficial Countryside with ecologist and naturalist Dr Bob Gibbons.

Richard Mabey’s concept of the Unofficial Countryside is a timely reminder of how nature flourishes against the odds, surviving in the most obscure and surprising places.

After education at Oxford, Richard worked as a lecturer in Social Studies in Further Education, then as a senior editor at Penguin Books. He became a full-time writer in 1974. He is the author of some thirty books, including The Cabaret of Plants: Botany and the Imagination (2015), and Whistling in the Dark: In Pursuit of the Nightingale (1993), winner of the East Anglia Book Award, 2010, in a revised version entitled The Barley Bird, Beechcombings: the narratives of Trees (2007), the ground-breaking and best-selling “cultural flora” Flora Britannica (1996).

Richard's recent memoir, Nature Cure (2005), which describes how reconnecting with the wild helped him break free from debilitating depression, was short-listed for three major literary awards, the Whitbread, Ondaatje, and J.R. Ackerley prizes. 

Dr Bob Gibbons is an ecologist and naturalist, as well as author, co-author or illustrator of about 40 books on nature, photography and travel. He is also an award-winning photographer and is currently working on writing and photographing a guide to the alpine flowers of Europe.

Until this year, Bob ran a small tour company specialising in taking groups to enjoy and understand the natural history of various parts of the world. He and Richard Mabey have been close friends for decades, since they worked together on the Flora Britannica project.

Thursday 20 October, 7:00pm

Tickets: £15.50 / £12.50 concession

This event will take place online via Zoom. 

  • The Unofficial Countryside 

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