The website of a lover of our butterflies, especially the mighty Purple Emperor, and of forests, downs, coast and countryside, wilder places, gardens, spring and summer, sunshine, and the poetic approach to Nature;
Also, ‘new nature writing’, rootedness, our relationships with places and how places use us, spirit of place, ‘rewilding’, cricket (Somerset & England), domesticated cats (3), and the roles of faith and spirituality in our relationship with Nature.
Photo National Trust
That all sounds Serious, but cheerfulness keeps breaking through.
This spring I will be retiring – from the best job in the world (a job is what you make it): I worked for the National Trust for 27 years, as Advisor on Nature Conservation and then National Specialist on Nature – whatever that means. I had a fantastic time.
I’m retiring to rather than from. I plan to write, dream and muse. My best hours lie ahead.
I have done a bit of broadcasting, on TV and radio, including Countryfile, The One Show and Springwatch.
Spiritually, I may be found where Christianity and pantheism coalesce. My church, which is radical and green, hasn’t been founded yet, and I’m not going to found it either.
I write books (most recently, Beyond Spring, Fair Acre Press, 2017, and In Pursuit of Butterflies, Bloomsbury, 2015), poetry (Brokenborough Poetry Group, Wiltshire), for The Times Nature Notebook column and a Cotswold parish magazine, book reviews and articles – I find writing therapeutic. I write what I want to read myself, and which no one else seems to be writing… I don’t (and couldn’t) write for a living.
In Pursuit of Butterflies is continuing as an interrupted blog. New chapters will be posted here periodically. New chapters for 2014 & 2015 are already up. I’m behind with this venture…
I am not a blogger. Occasional diary entries from my wildlife diary will be posted on the Diary pages, and occasional thoughts on the Thoughts pages here. The Thoughts pages are particularly interactive – please join in.
The Photos here are my own unless otherwise stated. They are all compressed, but feel free to use them for non-commercial activities. Full size versions of many are available through National Trust Images at www.nationaltrustimages.org.uk
Follow me on Twitter. I tweet, regularly, as @NTMatthewOates
Postings about my lifelong interest and research into the Purple Emperor butterfly are on the Purple Empire website, primarily on the blog: http://apaturairis.blogspot.co.uk/