Matthew Oates has led a butterflying life. Naturalist, conservationist and passionate lover of poetry, he has devoted himself to these exalted creatures: to their observation, to singing their praises, and to ensuring their survival. Based on fifty years of detailed diaries, In Pursuit of Butterflies is the chronicle of this life.
Oates leads the reader through a lifetime of butterflying, across the mountain tops, the peat bogs, sea cliffs, meadows, heaths, the chalk downs and great forests of the British Isles. Full of humour, zeal, digression, expertise and anecdote, this book provides a profound encounter with one of our great butterfly lovers, and with a half-century of butterflies in Britain.
Matthew Oates is a naturalist, writer and poet who has been obsessed by Britain's butterflies since he was at school. Intimately acquainted with all of Britain's native species, he has made particular studies of the Pearl-bordered Fritillary, Mountain Ringlet and Duke of Burgundy. But no butterfly has entranced him so much as the elusive, beautiful Purple Emperor - a butterfly we now understand much better thanks to his detailed and tireless observation. Since 1992 Matthew has worked for the National Trust, where he is currently National Specialist for Nature. Matthew has written widely for newspapers and magazines, and is a regular writer for the Nature Notes column in The Times. He lives in Gloucestershire.