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23Jun

Forget Me Not by Sophie Pavelle review – a fan letter to Britain’s unsung species

From overdressed hares to furious falcons … an impassioned study of wildlife under threat that still manages to inspire hope

Sophie Pavelle has been busy. A science writer, presenter, maker of podcasts, ambassador for the Wildlife Trust and adviser to the RSPB, she’s also spent much of the last two years roving from Cornwall to Orkney in search of 10 species whose fortunes have been affected by human-induced climate change. More impressive still, she’s done so in the middle of a pandemic and while eschewing wherever possible high-carbon forms of transport – and she is still only 27. Plug this woman into the grid.

Forget Me Not is not a hymn to those species – nothing so reverent. It’s an openhearted, superbly nerdish fan letter. With apologies for the spoiler, she doesn’t always find the species. But what she does find is a detailed perspective on the interconnectedness of the climate and biodiversity crises and ways to solve them. In short: it’s complicated, and we’re messing up big time. We have, Pavelle tells us as kindly as anyone can, created a world that “can barely continue to absorb our mistakes”.

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