We are delighted to announce our first natural history themed event of the year. On Tuesday April 18th we will be welcoming Nick Acheson to the Gloucester Road, to talk about his new book The Meaning of Geese at Sidney & Eden.Tickets, which are priced £5, along with more info can be found here.
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.