Orion Spring will publish journalist Florence Wilkinson's debut Wild City, a non-fiction book exploring the phenomenon of urban wildlife.
Publishing director Pippa Wright pre-empted UK and Commonwealth English language rights from Lucy Morris at Curtis Brown. The title will be published in April 2022.
In Wild City, Wilkinson will explore why readers should engage with wildlife in cities and how nature is adapting to human-engineered environments in unexpected ways. For example the peregrine falcons that make their nests on the ledges of tower blocks or the mosquitoes that have evolved within the confines of the London Underground and are found nowhere else on earth. The book will also look at how to support urban wildlife now and in the future.
Wright said: "Florence’s beautiful writing made all of us discover a new appreciation for where we live, and for those we share the city with, from feral pigeons to bird-feeder-raiding squirrels to rarer creatures like little owls and deer. She reclaims nature writing for city environments and affirms our status as part of the natural world, rather than outside it. With Florence’s eye for an illuminating anecdote, and her cast of intriguing characters (animal and human), I can’t think of a better guide to the wildlife of our cities."
Wilkinson commented: "I love city life and I love nature in equal measures. Through this book I get to explore both with fresh eyes, guided by a host of different characters, all of whom are as enthused by this as I am and generous enough to share their experiences of urban wildlife with others. Far from being barren and impermeable concrete jungles, our cities are alive, and they have been all along."
Wilkinson is the co-founder of the birdsong identification app Warblr, and a contributor to the Telegraph Magazine, Pool, Vice/Broadly and Grazia.