Diary of a Young Naturalist by Dara McAnulty

Diary of a Young Naturalist chronicles the turning of 15-year-old Dara McAnulty’s world. From spring and through a year in his home patch in Northern Ireland, Dara spent the seasons writing. These vivid, evocative and moving diary entries about his connection to wildlife and the way he sees the world are raw in their telling. Diary of a Young Naturalist portrays Dara’s intense connection to the natural world, and his perspective as a teenager juggling exams and friendships alongside a life of campaigning.

“I was diagnosed with Asperger’s/autism aged five … By age seven I knew I was very different, I had got used to the isolation, my inability to break through into the world of talking about football or Minecraft was not tolerated. Then came the bullying. Nature became so much more than an escape; it became a life-support system.”

“I can’t wait to read Dara’s book.We share a mind, a fascination with nature and a forthright desire to make the world a better place for it. I greatly admire his passion and determination in the face of some shared adversities and it’s constantly re-assuring to know that his energies are growing.” Chris Packham

“Dara’s is an extraordinary voice and vision: brave, poetic, ethical, lyrical, strong enough to have made him heard and admired from a young age. Reading his prose causes me to see the living world freshly and slantwise. I am hugely admiring of Dara as a writer and a person — his talent, his courage and his gentle grace. He is unique – but I wish there were a million more like him.” Robert Macfarlane


All orders will be recorded and sent out on publication.

Hardback | 225mm x 150mm |  240 pages

Jacket artwork by Barry Falls

Illustrated with family photographs and walking maps by Paul McAnulty



PRE-ORDER — we will ship when in stock

Dara lives with his mum, dad, brother Lorcan, sister Bláthnaid and rescue Greyhound Rosie in County Down, Northern Ireland.

Dara’s love for nature, his activism and his honesty about autism, has earned him a huge social media following from across the world, and many accolades: in 2017 he was awarded BBC Springwatch ‘Unsprung Hero’ Award and Birdwatch magazine ‘Local Hero’; in 2018 he was awarded ‘Animal Hero’ of the year by The Daily Mirror and became ambassador for RSPCA and the iWill campaign; in 2019 he became a Young Ambassador for the Jane Goodall Institute.

Follow Dara on twitter.