Lakeland Book of the Year 2018, Bookends Prize for Art and Literature, WINNER. With its enchanting song, striking orange bill and endearing willingness to share our living space, the blackbird is one of our best-loved birds. But robins, swifts, goldfinches and blue tits captivate us equally and, in The Blackbird Diaries, Karen Lloyd shares her deep-rooted affection for British wildlife and issues a clarion call for the conservation of endangered habitats and species - most notably the curlew, Europe's largest wading bird. Over the four seasons, Karen intimately chronicles the drama and the joy, the perils and the pleasures of the natural world as it all unfolds in her garden and on her daily walks in the limestone hills and valleys of Cumbria's South Lakeland. What emerges is a celebration of landscapes that rarely feature in the existing canon of nature writing, and rare insights into the lives of the species that may be common but are remarkable creatures all.
Karen Lloyd is a writer of non-fiction and poetry based in Kendal, Cumbria. She is a contributor to the Guardian Country Diary, has written for the Family section of the Guardian and is a features writer for BBC Countryfile magazine. She contributes to a number of online blogs, including Caught by the River. She is the editor of Curlew Calling Anthology and works at both regional and local levels on the urgent need for curlew restoration. Karen is a member of Kendal's Brewery Poets and gained a distinction from the Creative Writing M.Litt programme at Stirling University. Her first book, The Gathering Tide, won a Lakeland Award and was selected in the 2016 books of the year feature in the Observer.