BookMark Book Festival

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Sir John Lister-Kaye delights an audience at Straloch Garden Studio

13th Sep 2013

One of Scotland's best-known naturalists and conservationists shared his passion for nature writing in the delightful setting of Straloch Garden Studio in Strathardle. Tickets for the BOOKMARK Fringe event had sold out weeks before.
John Lister-Kaye addresses a full house

John Lister-Kaye addresses a full house

Sir John Lister-Kaye came to live in the Highlands of Scotland in 1968 to work with the celebrated author and naturalist, Gavin Maxwell. He moved to Aigas (near Beauly) in 1976 and there created the first Field Studies Centre for the Highlands and Islands. In his talk today he described how, in writing books (10 so far!), he has "poured his heart into saying it all. My purpose as a nature writer is to encourage people to get out and do things for themselves." The audience was treated to readings from three of his books: The Song of the Rolling Earth (2003)*, Nature's Child (2004)* and his most recent publication At the Water's Edge (2010)*. The extract from this book was Chapter 14, The Goshawk, where he recounts how he came across a goshawk and a wood pigeon - its prey - both birds severely concussed after slamming into a fence post during the chase. His description of the goshawk, especially its eyes, enthralled all of his listeners sitting in the bright, airy studio overlooking the loch.  It was an unmissable event; a fitting start to BOOKMARK Festival Fringe ('taking BOOKMARK out from Blairgowrie into the Glens') and we left with his words ringing in our ears: "I try to suck the reader into what I am feeling about nature." He most certainly succeeded.

*Copies of these books are available for sale in The Bookshop, Allan Street, Blairgowrie.

Further information about the Aigas Field Centre can be found on 


It was absolutely first class in every way and sincerely I wouldn't change a thing about Bookmark! Honestly!

Alex Gray (author)

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