What happens to nature when we are no longer there?
In early 2020, wildlife cameraman James Aldred was commissioned to film the lives of a family of Goshawks in the New Forest, his childhood home. He began to plan a treetop hide in a remote site that would allow him to film the Gos nest, the newly hatched chicks and the lives of these elusive and enchanting birds.
Then lockdown. And as the world retreated, something remarkable happened. The noise of our everyday stilled. No more cars, no more off-roaders, no more airplanes roaring in the skies, no one in the Goshawk woods – except James.
At this unique moment, James was granted a once in a lifetime opportunity to keep filming. And so, over Spring and into Summer, he began to record his experiences in a place empty of people but filled with birdsong and new life.
Amidst the fragility and the fear, there was silver moonlight, tumbling fox cubs, calling curlew and, of course, the soaring Goshawks – shining like fire through one of our darkest times. A Goshawk summer unlike any other.
About the Author
James Aldred is an Emmy Award-winning documentary wildlife cameraman and filmmaker and the celebrated author of The Man Who Climbs Trees. He works with television and production companies around the world, including the BBC and National Geographic. He has collaborated with Sir David Attenborough on numerous projects including ‘Life of Mammals’, ‘Planet Earth’ and ‘Our Planet’, and has been nominated for BAFTA/RTS awards many times. He was lucky to spend the lockdown of Spring and Summer 2020 filming in the New Forest.
"Magical and transporting. James Aldred’s account of a season spent filming Britain’s most powerful and mesmerising avian predator shines with the shifting complexities of weather, season, mood and place. In these dark times, it’s a beautiful and deeply evocative hymn to love, hope and connection." —HELEN MACDONALD, author of H is for Hawk
"I was struck throughout by the power and visceral beauty of Aldred’s prose. . . . There is something so meditative about nature memoirs written during, or since, lockdown. Goshawk Summer is no different; in fact, I would go as far to say that it is the most thoughtful one which I have read to date. . . A valuable addition to the canon of nature writing." —NB Magazine
“A vertiginous, white-knuckled adventure through some of the most spectacular forests in the world.” —Washington Post on The Man Who Climbs Trees
“The giant trees, described by James Aldred, are full of wonder, and his fascinating book is a story of real adventure.”— Peter Wohlleben, author of The Hidden Life of Trees on The Man Who Climbs Trees
"Passionate and courageous, in his masterpiece of a memoir, The Man Who Climbs Trees, James Aldred reminds us that the sweet green world around us is as alive as any creature—and trees are wondrous individuals with deep truths to tell. This is a book filled with beauty, suspense and revelation. I loved it!" — Sy Montgomery, author of The Soul of an Octopus on The Man Who Climbs Trees
"James Aldred is the ideal guide to the unexplored realm hovering just over our heads—the world of the forest canopy. His writing is vivid, a feast for the senses. Even under assault by bugs and birds, Aldred remains imbued with an irresistible sense of awe for this aerial wonderland that few of us will ever see." — Michael Finkel, author of The Stranger in the Woods on The Man Who Climbs Trees