a passion for the countryside

Rosamond Richardson

is an author, journalist, essayist and walker who is at her happiest wandering about in wild places. She is a regular columnist for BirdWatching magazine where for the past three years she written the monthly 'Reflections' page. She  writes regularly for The Countryman, where her series on wild flowers 'Natural Histories', was followed in 2015 by 'Walking with Wild Flowers', and in 2016 by 'The Wonder of Trees'. Her weekly Country Life feature 'Flora Britannica' appeared in 2012she writes occasional articles for LandScapeand contributes to the NFU magazine Countryside. In the autumn of 2014 she gave a presentation on John Clare's wild flowers to the inaugural symposium of the new Centre for John Clare Studies at Cambridge, alongside Richard Mabey. She is on the steering committee of New Networks for Nature, and lectured to the 2014 conference on Richard Jefferies and wild flowers. Her talk was published in the Richard Jefferies Journal in June 2015.

Rosamond has a special interest in the cultural history of wild flowers and trees, their scope and narratives, our relationship with them and the important roles they have played in our lives for centuries: their botanical history, uses in food and medicine, folklore and history, place in legend and literature, ecology and local names. As the 19th-century poet of the English countryside John Clare wrote, ‘I love all wildflowers (none are weeds with me). Darwin spoke of ‘endless forms most beautiful’, William Blake of ‘the holiness of the minute particular’. 

Rosamond's BRITAIN'S WILD FLOWERS, which tells these stories and describes the amazing diversity, utility and beauty of wild flowers, will be published by Pavilion Books for the National Trust in April 2017.

Rosamond's descriptive pieces on encounters with birds in their habitats – an occupation deemed 'tantamount to interviewing an archangel' according to the early 20th-century ornithologist Emma Turner - are based on the sometimes transcendent experience of watching birds in the wild. Her book WAITING FOR THE ALBINO DUNNOCK touches on the mystery and diversity of birds through a turning year their relationship to their habitats and to the natural world around them, and how all these elements impacted on her life. It examines the power of beauty to transform us, and how the stillness and solitude involved in watching birds in the wild can touch us profoundly. Birds can and have changed people's lives over the centuries, and this book traces how the  fascination of birds opened up new directions in her own life, pointing her to a new understanding of what it means to be human in the world of Nature. 

WAITING FOR THE ALBINO DUNNOCK: how birds can change your life, illustrated by Carry Akroyd, will be published in April 2017 by Weidenfeld and Nicolson.

Rosamond's Hedgerow Cookery, a Penguin Original published in 1980, became a classic. With ecologist David Streeter she presented BBC2's seven part television series Discovering Hedgerows, with a successful book that accompanied the series. More than thirty books were to follow. Her Country Wisdom was an international bestseller, published in the USA with Time Life, and with Dutch, Finnish, German and Spanish editions. Her passion for the countryside led to engagement with environmental issues in various forms. She ran a campaign with Lord Peter Melchett and Friends of the Earth against the destruction of hedgerows in the 1980s, resulting in a seminal correspondence in the letters page of The Times. She has advocated organic food in all her writing on vegetarian cookery, and Linda McCartney appointed her as her personal food consultant during the writing of two of her best-selling books. Rosamond's Alfresco (Ebury) won a James Beard Award in New York in 1993 and has been translated into many languages. Other books include Country Harvest (Ebury) and The Organic Home, published by Dorling Kindersley in 2003 which has been translated into French. 

Rosamond also writes under the pseudonym Ingrid Soren, and has lectured on Dante in Cambridge, Florence and at Little Gidding. Her work has been published by various international publications including the contemporary art magazine CANVAS (features on Islamic art in the British Museum, the Louvre in Paris, the Ashmolean in Oxford and the Fitzwilliam in Cambridge). Her lectures have appeared on the T.S.ELIOT SOCIETY JOURNAL, and an essay on Francis Bacon appeared in the Paris literary magazine THE BLACK HERALD in September 2012.

You can email Rosamond on rosamondrichardson1@gmail.com