Friday 10 May 2024


Book review: Wild Treasures by Hannah Stitfall [blog tour]

After a cold and very wet winter, I'm sure I'm not the only one ready for spring and going out into nature again. The sun is tentatively peeking through the clouds and the garden is bursting into colour and birdsong, which is making me very excited to explore the countryside and see what other beautiful flora and fauna is making a reappearance. But while spring and summer are the most obvious seasons to find 'wild treasures', Hannah Stitfall's new book shows us there's wonderful wildlife to encounter in Britain every month of the year. 

About Wild Treasures

Hannah Stitfall is a zoologist, wildlife presenter, producer, and filmmaker living in Cornwall. In Wild Treasures she takes readers on a journey along the coastline and hedgerows as well as going more inland, artfully describing the plethora of different habitats; from fields to marshes – who knew that Cornwall was home to so many different types of environments? 

Hannah shows readers behind-the-scenes of some of her most amazing wildlife encounters in the southwest of Britain, while also honestly talking about those times that she didn't get the perfect shot after lying on a cold and damp ground for many hours on end, only accompanied by her furry companion, Isabelle. Being a wildlife photographer isn't just seeing herds of deer and schools of dolphins, which makes those occasions where she is successful in spotting the species she set out to see, sometimes even a rare one, all the more magical.

My review

Hannah Stitfall's writing is really absorbing. As soon as I opened the pages of this wonderful tome of nature writing, I was transported to the Cornish countryside, journeying alongside her and Isabelle in search of magical wildlife moments. I had no idea that there was such a huge variety of animal and plant life in such a small part of the world – and I found the book extremely educational and enlightening. I was particularly impressed that Hannah managed to talk about so many different species across the year, and the book wasn't just centred on those months where animals are more out and about rather than in hibernation. She really shows that there's always a "wild treasure" to be found – as long as you keep your eyes open and pay attention to your surroundings. 

I also loved the inclusion of colour photography in the book, although I wish they were inserted at those points where Hannah talked about that particular species. There were encounters she described so wonderfully for which the photos weren't included and then there were images of animals I didn't remember reading about in the book (although they may have been there, just much earlier on). 

Hanna's writing is very descriptive and I loved how detailed and clearly passionate she was about the various animals covered in her book – I do love a nature fun fact! However, I did feel slightly confused at times as every section started with a vague description so the reader has to guess what animal that chapter would be about, before the inevitable reveal. This would've been fun to add anticipation occasionally, especially for the rarer encounters, but it made for a slightly confusing reading experience when there were several pages of descriptions and facts first before knowing which animal is actually being talked about.

This particular stylistic choice aside I was really impressed with the amount of delightful wildlife encounters packed in this beautifully little hardback. While I don't have the knowledge, equipment, or tenacity of Hannah to witness many of these animals so up close in the wild myself, I do feel that through the pages of Wild Treasures I've also experienced some of that wildlife magic. Next time I go to Cornwall I will keep my eyes firmly open for kingfishers, beavers, and "sea bunnies" – and, who knows, I might get lucky!

Wild Treasures by Hannah Stitfall is published by Octopus Books and you can now buy your copy from your favourite local book shop!

Blog tour stops for Wild Treasures by Hannah Stitfall

This review for Wild Treasures is part of the blog tour for the launch of the book. Make sure to check out the other stops too!

Disclaimer: This book was gifted to me, but this has not impacted this honest review.

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