Chelsea Green has landed “future classic” On Gallows Down by award-winning nature writer Nicola Chester.
The indie acquired world English language rights from Anne Williams at the Kate Hordern Literary Agency. On Gallows Down – Enclosure, Defiance and the Cuckoo’s Return – A Memoir will be published in October 2021.
Its blurb states: “This new book from the award-winning nature writer is the story of a life shaped by landscape – of an enduring love of nature and the fierce desire to protect it, living as the rural working-class on a ‘tied cottage’ on a country estate, and what it takes to feel like you belong. It is also a book about hope – from the rewilding of Greenham Common after the missiles left to how Nicola walked the chalk hills to give her children roots, learning names and waymarkers to find their way home. The songs of the nightingale and cuckoo, whose return she waits for, the red kites, field fares, skylarks and lapwings that accompany her, the badger cubs she watches at night and the velvety mole she finds in her garden.
Chester won the BBC Wildlife Magazine's Nature Writer of the Year Award in 2003. She has written a regular column for the RSPB members' magazine, Nature’s Home, for more than 15 years and also writes for the Guardian's Country Diary.
She commented: “I am thrilled On Gallows Down has found a home with Chelsea Green. The team have been so warm and welcoming; and I know they really understand where I'm coming from. Their approach to environmental publishing means a very great deal to me too. I am utterly delighted!”
Chelsea Green UK m.d. Matt Haslum added: “Rarely do you get to read such an affecting memoir filled with stories of identity, place, hope and protest – and to have it suffused with sublime nature writing makes for an unforgettable reading experience. It has all the hallmarks of a future classic.”