From the team at BBC Wildlife Magazine

Chris Packham wins book contest

A national online poll has revealed that Fingers in the Sparkle Jar is Britain's favourite nature writing.

Published: January 31, 2018 at 9:00 pm
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Members of the public have voted in a poll organised by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), and Chris Packham’s book has come out on top.


Fingers in the Sparkle Jar has been chosen as the UK’s favourite nature book, followed by Tarka the Otter by Henry Williamson in second place, and Common Ground by Rob Cowen in third place.


Fingers in the Sparkle Jar by Chris Packham

Public comments about Packham’s book include:

“It's the most powerful, honest account I've ever read about how nature can shape a person and how interactions with wildlife can stay with someone for ever. It's beautifully written and the messages and story stayed with me long after I turned the last page.”

Fingers in the Sparkle Jar is a truly beautiful, honest account of growing up with Asperger’s and in love with nature, when everyone around you wasn't. It's brutal and hard to read at times but ultimately brilliant. And very well written! I couldn't put it down.”

The poll was organised as part of Land Lines, a two-year research project by the University of Leeds, University of Sussex and University of St Andrews, to analyse the history of modern nature writing.

The shortlist of ten books (below) were selected by a panel of experts from 278 titles nominated by the public last year.

In total, 7,300 votes were cast in the national online poll.


The ten shortlised books © Land Lines


Main image: Chris Packham with a kestrel © Jo Charlesworth


Megan ShersbyEditorial and digital co-ordinator at BBC Wildlife Magazine, and

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