Britain's wildlife is in trouble. Wild creatures that have lived here for thousands of years are disappearing, because of pollution and persecution, competition with alien species, changing farming and forestry practices, and climate change. It's not just rare creatures such as the Scottish wildcat or the red squirrel that are vanishing. Hares and hedgehogs, skylarks and water voles, even the humble house sparrow, are in freefall. But now, at last, there is hope.
In Wild Kingdom, Stephen Moss tells a different story. He has travelled the length and breadth of the United Kingdom to see just how Britons are fighting back to save the wildlife they love. In Newcastle, he sees otters that have returned to the river Tyne and red kites flying over the Metro centre; in Devon, beavers on the River Otter; and in London, peregrines – the fastest living creature on the planet – which have taken up residence in the capital. Elsewhere in the British countryside things are changing too. What were once nature-free zones are being 'rewilded'; giving our wild creatures the space they need – not just to survive, but also to thrive. As Britain's wildlife begins its long, slow fightback, perhaps, Stephen Moss argues, we are beginning to realise that nature is no longer a bolt-on luxury – and that it is absolutely essential for our well being, both as individuals and as a nation.