The Meaning of Geese
Nick Acheson
7pm Tuesday 18th April



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7pm, Tuesday 18th April.
The event will be held at Sidney & Eden, 198 Gloucester Road, a few doors along from the shop, on the same side of the road. Please note that the event will be in the basement of the bar, which is stair access only.

We are very excited to be welcoming Nick Acheson to talk about his book The Meaning of Geese. He will be in conversation with environmentalist Mary Colwell.

The Meaning of Geese is a beautiful tribute to the wild geese and their great athletic migrations – an expertly detailed account of how their sound and spectacle shape our winter landscape and what it might mean to lose them forever.

During a time when many of us faced the prospect of little work or human contact, renowned naturalist and conservationist Nick Acheson found a sense of peace and purpose in his pursuit of the wild geese that filled his beloved Norfolk skies, on their seasonal visits from Iceland and Siberia. In The Meaning of Geese Nick recounts these adventures, starting with the dramatic arrival of the pinkfeet and brent geese as they land in the thousands in North Norfolk each autumn.


While following their flocks on his old red bicycle, Nick encounters rarer geese, including Russian white-fronts, barnacle geese and an extremely unusual grey-bellied brant, a bird he had dreamt of seeing since thumbing his mother’s copy of Peter Scott’s field guide as a child. Over the course of seven months Nick keeps a diary of his sightings as well as the stories he discovered through the community of people, past and present, who loved them too. Over seven months he cycles 1,200 miles – the exact length of the pinkfeet’s migration to Iceland. Yet, with the impacts of climate change the geese’s future migrations are no longer a given, and as spring arrives and Nick says goodbye to the last of the geese, the question of whether they will return the following seasons hangs in the air. He writes: ‘I meant to bid them fortune on their journey; to thank them for their winter company; to pray their tundra will persist a few years more, despite our ravaging of the climate.’

The Meaning of Geese is a book of thrilling encounters with wildlife, of tired legs, punctured tyres and inhospitable weather. Above all, it is the moving account of Nick Acheson’s love for Norfolk’s ancient landscape – the land the wild geese call home each winter.

Nick Acheson grew up in North Norfolk. Since early childhood he has been fascinated by nature, a fascination which grew through his youth to become a consuming interest and a commitment to wildlife conservation. In adulthood this has developed into advocacy for the environment and for a sustainable future. For the past fifteen years, Nick has worked for conservation NGOs in the UK, most notably Norfolk Wildlife Trust. He is an ambassador for both Norfolk Wildlife Trust and Pensthorpe, a trustee of Felbeck Trust and a recent president of the historic Norfolk and Norwich Naturalists’ Society. Nick is a regular guest on BBC Radio 4, Channel 4, ITV Anglia, BBC Radio Norfolk among other outlets. He has written for three of the Seasons anthologies, Red Sixty Seven, Low-Carbon Birding, British Birds, British Wildlife and BBC Wildlife. This is his first book. / Twitter: @themarshtit / Instagram: @thewillowtit

Mary Colwell is an award-winning author, producer and campaigner for nature. She won a Sony Radio Academy Gold award, and has been awarded the BTO Dilys Breese Medal, the David Bellamy Award from the Gamekeepers Organisation, the WWT Marsh Award for Conservation and the RSPB Medal. She spearheaded the successful establishment of a GCSE in Natural History. Mary is Chair of the Curlew Recovery Partnership England and set up the charity, Curlew Action, in 2020.