An outstanding Hertfordshire naturalist

Michael is one of Hertfordshire's most highly regarded naturalists, particularly for his understanding of the County’s mammals. He was the County Recorder from 1969 and his book on the Mammals, Amphibians and Reptiles of Hertfordshire remains the ‘bible’ on the subject. Written with his characteristic approach the book brings the subject alive with anecdotes and well researched reminiscences and includes the County’s human beings alongside the wildlife.......

Michael says that as a child his parents allowed him the free run of the countryside around their home in Cuffley, including Northaw Great Wood, the Dell, Nyn Park and Home Wood. In these superb wildlife habitats he learnt his field craft, building up expertise and knowledge of the wildlife from careful observation. He and his wife Anna now live at Tewin Orchard one of Hertfordshire’s last traditional, productive orchards which they manage as a nature reserve for the Wildlife Trust.

Michael's books, his first, The Mysterious Greatwood, in 1972 was for children, followed by Mammal Watching  in 1981, a Tracker guide to field signs of Mammals in 1991 and his best selling book Badgers is now in a fourth edition (2010) . He is also a very talented illustrator and cartoonist. His drawings were first published in 1966 in Northaw Great Wood – its history and natural history, and in 2003 in his book Apples, a field guide which is currently being updated.

Michael has been a great supporter of the HNHS serving in many roles including President and Chairman. He remains active at Tewin, working on yet more books, surrounded by mountains of other books, and the wildlife he has spent so much time documenting and observing.