What I’ve been reading this week, 7 June 2020

Sudden solitude on Snowdon, abandoning conquest, the littering begins, and smartphone photography.

(A lot of online writing has some link to the pandemic now, so these categories are more blurred than ever!)

Environment and nature

Lucy’s Lockdown Diaries: Neighbourhood Watch – Lucy Wallace checks in on the wildlife near where she lives.

Country diary: woodcocks rode through the haunted shadows – Mark Cocker writes about some of Britain’s hardest-to-spot birds.

Sixth mass extinction of wildlife accelerating, scientists warn – this week in ‘while you were looking elsewhere’.

Donald Trump weakens environmental regulations with new executive order – I think we can expect to see more of this in the future.


Sudden Solitude on One of the World’s Busiest Mountains – this is a good piece about Snowdon, solitude, and how we perceive honeypot mountains.

Why did a Chinese team climb Everest during the coronavirus pandemic? – a thorough examination of this expedition from Mark Horrell. ‘But the question is, should they have been climbing at all this year, while most of the world is convulsed in COVID-19 lockdown?’

Abandoning conquest – a good piece on the language of mountaineering from MyOutdoors.


Air pollution in China back to pre-Covid levels and Europe may follow – that didn’t take long, did it?

Lockdown Lifting Sees Increase in Problem Behaviour – fires, littering, overcrowding – I’ve been watching this with dismay over the last couple of weeks. What can we do to prevent this?

As lockdown lifts, the littering begins – a look at this problem from The Great Outdoors.

Under pressure, UK government releases NHS COVID data deals with big tech – damning, but another one to file under UNSURPRISED.TXT.

Books, writing and editing

Submissions — The Boardman Tasker Prize for Mountain Literature – 2020’s submissions for the Boardman Tasker Prize. There are some great books on the list this year. I’m currently reading The Unremembered Places by Patrick Baker – it’s fantastic.

The Wainwright Prize Golden Beer Prize – the longlist for this prize celebrating UK nature writing is now live.

You were there for us – Vertebrate Publishing – Jon Barton at Vertebrate Publishing has written another blog post on the challenging times of lockdown, and how they’re moving forward.

Intrepid Magazine 2 Year Review – Emily Woodhouse reflects on two challenging but rewarding years at Intrepid.


Smartphone Photography – 12 easy hacks for better pictures – this is a good piece on smartphone photography by Chiz Dakin.

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By Alex Roddie

Award-winning outdoor and nature writer, editor, author, and photographer.

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