Wild Nature: Walking Australia’s South East Forests
Author: John Blay
Publisher: NewSouth Publishing 2020
Reviewer: Samantha Newton
John Blay is a writer and naturalist who has spent much of his life travelling in, and writing about, the natural world. His latest book clearly demonstrates his love of, and connection with, the south-east forests. He invites you to join him on his travels and inspires you to plan and make your own journeys.
The prologue was written in January 2020, amidst the devastating bushfires that impacted so much of the area. John acknowledges the role of fire on the environment and how it effects our relationship with nature. He hints at the vast forces he will explore while travelling around the south-east forests, studying the landscape and the individual species, both common and rare.
The following chapters travel deeply into specific locations, discussing plants, animals, natural forces, climate change, history, politics and icons. The writing style is informative and embracing. It doesn’t smother you with the tensions and crises, but gently encourages you to understand the history, value the instruments of protection, and appreciate all the area has to offer.