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Wild Waters: The Magic of Ireland’s Rivers and Lakes Richard Nairn | Gill Books

Release Date01/05/2023
PublisherGill Books
Rivers and lakes are the arteries and beating heart of Ireland. To our ancestors these wetlands were their highways, providing valuable sources of food including fish and wildfowl as well as vital materials such as reeds for thatching and willows for basket-making. Today they supply us with drinking water and cleanse our waste, their energy is harnessed to provide power, they are vital habitats for many freshwater species, and they are treasured places for tranquillity and recreation.


Here, in a unique mix of nature, history and personal experience, ecologist Richard Nairn explores and celebrates the rivers and lakes of Ireland. Beginning with the Avonmore River system which flows through some of the most picturesque parts of Co. Wicklow, Wild Waters reveals the magic of Ireland’s rivers and lakes and contemplates the consequences for them as the rapid deterioration of our natural environment continues.

Praise for previous books in this trilogy, Wild Woods and Wild Shores:

‘His description moves me. An engaging and ambitious new book,’ Michael Viney, The Irish Times.

‘This new book exploring our coastline can take us into places we would never have the time (or sea legs) to reach,’ Catherine Cleary, The Irish Times.

‘A brilliant and timely odyssey around our precious, precarious shores,’ Professor John Brannigan, College of Arts and Humanities, University College Dublin.

‘A great read – whatever part of the coast you visit,’ Éanna ní Lamhna, environmentalist and author.

‘Well-researched and beautifully written. An absolute gem,’ Zoe Devlin, Botanist and author of The Wildflowers of Ireland.

‘An exhilarating journey right around our coastline, melding a lifetime’s conservation research with rich personal experience, enriched by a broad repertoire of historical and literary references, especially the work of Robert Lloyd Praeger, ’ Paddy Woodworth, Journalist and author.

Richard Nairn is an ecologist and writer who has published six previous books. This is the third volume of his memoirs following the acclaimed titles Wild Woods (2020) and Wild Shores (2022). With a Master’s Degree in Zoology, he previously worked as a nature reserve warden and was the first Director of BirdWatch Ireland. He is an experienced writer who has shown his ability to make complex subjects accessible and entertaining to a broad readership, while earning praise from scientists for meticulous research.