At just 17 years-old, Northern Irish environmentalist and author Dara McAnulty is the youngest person to win the RSPB Medal and to be shortlisted for the 2020 Wainwright Prize for UK Nature Writing – an accolade he also won.

Throughout his debut book Diary of a Young Naturalist, McAnulty chronicled his deep connection to the natural world through the raw and often lyrical point of view of an autistic teenager juggling mental health issues with life as a modern-day environmental activist. His latest book, Wild Child, takes you a sensory journey through nature, inviting readers to reconnect with the world around them.

We’re delighted to be joined by McAnulty as he takes us inside his unique world to illuminate how his intense connection to nature acts as a soothing balm for severe anxiety and helps him overcome life’s difficulties.


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About The Author

Dara McAnulty

Dara McAnulty is a 17-year-old autistic naturalist, conservationist and activist from Northern Ireland. After writing his online blog ‘Naturalist Dara’ for over three years, and articles for many UK Wildlife NGOs, Dara published his debut book, Diary of a Young Naturalist, in 2020. He won Book of the Year for Narrative Non-Fiction at the British Book Awards 2021 and the Wainwright Prize for Nature Writing in 2020, becoming the youngest ever winner of a major literary prize – alongside many other awards. Dara is a passionate and fervent campaigner for the natural world and a dedicated fundraiser, volunteer and wildlife recorder.

About The Chair

Amy-Jane Beer

Amy-Jane Beer is a biologist, naturalist, writer & campaigner based in Yorkshire. She is author of several books on natural history, a feature writer, columnist, a Country Diarist for The Guardian and a driving force behind the New Networks for Nature symposium. Her next books are A Tree A Day (Batsford Sept 2021) and The Flow: a return to the river (Bloomsbury 2022).