Posted by Nick Redmayne on 22 July 2011
‘Up the Creek’ seemed a particularly appropriate theme for this year’s competition as a monsoon-style rainstorm coincided with the arrival of judges, finalists and guests for the annual Bradt/Independent on Sunday Travel-Writing Competition awards evening, held earlier this week at Stanfords flagship travel book shop in Covent Garden. Chief judge, Matthew Parris, who walked from his home by the Thames without any rain protection, arrived soaked to the skin and at least one guest purchased some classy traveller’s trousers to replace his sodden ones – Stanfords doesn’t just sell books…
- Jonathan Lorie, Hilary Bradt, Helen Watson,
Simon Duncan, Matthew Parris
Hilary Bradt introduced Kate Simon, Travel Editor of The Independent on Sunday, and then Joanna Marsh, from the Turkish Culture and Tourism Office, before travel writer, political commentator and former MP Matthew Parris commended all the finalists, reading out a favourite passage from each. The overall winner was Simon Duncan for his piece The Disappearing Beach recounting a narrow escape whilst driving in New Zealand. Simon wins a holiday for two in Eastern Turkey, a copy of Bradt’s new Eastern Turkey and a future commission from the Independent on Sunday, as well as having his winning article published in the paper’s travel section on 31st July.
The prize for the ‘Best Unpublished Writer’ was chosen by Jonathan Lorie. This went to Helen Watson for her piece The Art of Stillness, describing a becalming experience in Nicaragua. Helen wins a place on one of Jon’s acclaimed Travellers’ Tales residential travel-writing courses.
Before leaving, Matthew Parris was presented with a wire-mesh llama sculpted by Hilary Bradt as a thank you for his encouragement to budding writers, and for supporting this event over several years – for those who don’t know, Matthew keeps several llamas at his Derbyshire home.
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Posted by Nick Redmayne on 18 July 2011
Don’t panic! According to information currently in the public domain, the mothership has not yet landed. In the meantime Bradt’s new 100 Alien Invaders offers a full-colour exploration of non-native terrestrial species and the dramatic, often unforeseen, effects they can have on the world’s delicate indigenous eco-systems.
So great is the problem posed by alien species that a consensus amongst conservation groups has discerned it to be the third greatest threat to the planet’s ecology after habitat destruction and overpopulation. 100 Alien Invaders’ author Gill Williams states ‘The biggest impacts of invasive species are felt on small islands. Here, the specialist natives haven’t needed to develop systems to cope with tough competition. They’re not able or equipped to move with the times.’ Gill goes on to quote some alarming statistics; 10,000 – the number of invasive species in Europe; 75% – the rise in Europe’s alien species since 1980. The RSPB, Europe’s largest wildlife conservation charity, states that ‘invasive non-native species have been involved in the extinction of 68 out of the 135 bird species lost in the wild globally over the last 500 years.’ 100 Alien Invaders describes plants and animals – spread sometimes as stowaways and sometimes during misguided attempts at biological control – that thrive outside the natural checks and balances built up over millennia of evolution. Chapters examine killer bees and cane toads, which have proved obvious terrors, but also focus on others, like harlequin ladybirds and water hyacinth, that pose a more insidious threat. The result of exhaustive research, 100 Alien Invaders catalogues some of the planet’s most destructive life forms in a hardback exposé that may change forever your view of house sparrows and hedgehogs…
Gill Williams was born in New Zealand and has been writing, broadcasting and making TV programmes about travel, wildlife and conservation for more than three decades. Together with her filmmaker husband Steve Hills, she runs travel and wildlife film unit Wildside UK Productions. The pair is also the team behind greentravelguides.tv – internet TV that shows how to travel without trashing the planet.
Title: 100 Alien Invaders
Author: Gill Williams
Publisher: Bradt Travel Guides
Publication: August 2011
ISBN: 978 1 84162 359 7
Posted in Press Releases | Tagged: 100 alien invaders, alien invaders, aliens, biological control, gill williams, invasive species | Leave a Comment »