Forget-Me-Not – a beautiful flower, and a plea. A plea from the wildlife of the British Isles. When it’s gone – when climate change has driven dozens of our most loved species to extinction, as well as the hundreds of crawlers, flyers, sprinters and swimmers we overlook – will it all be forgotten?
Sophie Pavelle is an adventurous science communicator and, like so many of her generation, she has resolved to do what it takes to turn back the tide on climate change. She has gained an audience in recent years: writing for the national press and academic journals, embarking on adventurous expeditions accompanied by nature-loving followers, headlining conferences, chairing debate forums and leading inspirational workshops. In 2020, she decided to embark on a new challenge, to invite a broader readership to travel with her as she seeks to find out about ten fading national treasures. Sophie journeys with the hope to see for herself species and habitats that, if things continue as they are, could be gone by 2050 and forgotten by the end of the century.
Sophie is travelling the British Isles the old-fashioned way: on foot, by bicycle, on trains, paddleboard and kayak – all amid a global pandemic. Her adventure is one of exploration and celebration, of finding out how we can re-build our relationship with nature and champion its role in our lives. And she is determined to find answers in the right way – the low-carbon way.
Her trips will take her through some of Britain’s most iconic landscapes: from Bodmin Moor in the south-west of England to the Orkney archipelago in the far north-east of Scotland. Sophie hopes to encounter 10 of our native animals and habitats that are fighting for survival on the front lines of climate change in the British Isles. Which of our species are going to be worst affected, and why? Which might benefit from climate change? And which are already doomed?
Whether she’s snorkelling in freezing waters, setting off on mammoth hikes, descending white-water rivers or road-tripping in electric cars, Sophie searches out species in their native habitats and on their terms. Enlisting the help of leading experts on the cutting edge of protecting these wild animals and places, she learns what we can do to solve our increasing disconnect with wild places with every click of our gas boilers and every sputter of an engine.
Sophie’s book is a clarion call: everyone has a part to play in tackling this most existential of threats. We can all see and support stunning wildlife without contributing to its destruction. There is hope. All is not lost. And in Forget-Me-Not, you can join Sophie on her epic journey to discover what’s left of our threatened species and habitats and learn how we can save them.