I have had a fondness for Arundel WWT as I have been visiting for years – I remember feeding the geese and swans there when I was a little girl. Cue a photo from the family archive (thanks Mum!) with my 70’s knee socks, plimsolls, velour shorts and bowl cut…

It was also the place where I decided to homeschool my children, as I realised the wealth of information available if you chose to look for it, and it became a popular site for our ‘field trips’. My grandparents lived in Worthing so it was my mum’s childhood home, and we lived there until we moved to Dorchester in 1976. I love the big windows as you walk in to the Visitor Centre, and have spent many, many happy hours with my binoculars watching the waterfowl and waders. The boardwalk through the reedbeds is magical if there’s even the slightest breeze, and on a few occasions we have taken a trip in the boats and seen water voles. I have added birds that will be seen on the Reserve as well as in gardens and on walks around the town or along the Arun.

It’s a particular privilege for me to be producing a book for Arundel and I really hope it encourages visitors and beginners to get to know the birds in and around the town. Apart from the WWT Reserve there is the large Swanbourne boating lake as well as the magnificent castle. There are lots of walks around Arundel and plenty of places to stop for sustenance. I hope I will see people will enjoy using these logbooks to spot birds around the town.

As with the other birdwatching logbooks, these are retailing at £5 with a trade discount available. Please use the form here on my website to purchase, or contact me via email, direct message, or phone.

As I have stated on many occasions, my aim with the booklets is to get people not just looking but also recording what they see, as that observation and note-taking is such a brilliant way to engage and remember. There are numerous studies showing how important writing down notes can be, and using good old-fashioned pen or pencil not only gets us away from the distractions of a screen, but also taps in to a different set of stimuli, as handwriting (especially when scribbling in a small box while resting the booklet on your knee…) requires motor skills and concentration. It reconnects us with the motion of writing, and allows for more creativity. Add more notes; go up the side of the page; scribble on the back cover. I want these booklets to be not just a log of what you have seen but also a book of memories. Does it matter if the booklets get coffee rings on them or are used to jot down a shopping list? No. I love notebooks and pens, and much as I would be lost without my phone, I do genuinely believe our brains need the heterogeneity of handwriting to properly engage with the information.

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