Events

POSTPONED - On Gallows Down: Nicola Chester in Conversation with Rebecca Schiller

Wednesday 24th November 2021
18:30 at Waterstones, London - Gower Street

Please note that this event has been postponed due to unforeseen circumstances. We are looking to arrange a new date for this event in the New Year. Our apologies for any confusion or inconvenience caused.

Join us for an evening with author Nicola Chester who will be discussing her recent memoir, On Gallows Down, with Rebecca Schiller, author of Earthed.

On Gallows Down is the story of a life shaped by landscape – of an enduring love of nature and the fierce desire to protect it, living as the rural working class on a ‘tied cottage’ on a country estate, and what it takes to feel like you belong.

As a child, Nicola roamed the countryside around her home by Greenham Common on the North Wessex Downs.From that young age, she developed a strong sense of place in those wide-open spaces, equating home with the nature that she loved, but this freedom to roam was soon curtailed by the fences of the controversial US military base on the common, and the ‘nuclear shadow’ cast by the base.

On Gallows Down is a powerful memoir on nature, place and protest, from a writer whose journalism has been much admired since she won the BBC Wildlife Magazine’s Nature Writer of the Year Award.

In her new memoir Earthed, Rebecca Schiller recounts the challenges of finding a new life on a countryside smallholding. Overwhelmed by what she has taken on and reeling from the turmoil in the wider world, her mind begins to unravel. And so she turns to her two acres, and to the women of this land's past, searching for answers and hope. Here, she stumbles on a wild space of imaginative leaps, where she begins to uncover the hidden layers of her plot's history - and of herself.


Nicola Chester’s clarion call to nature conservation was first recognised when she won the BBC Wildlife Magazine's Nature Writer of the Year Award in 2003. She has written a regular column for the RSPB members' magazine, Nature’s Home, for over 15 years. She is a Guardian Country Diarist, wrote the first book in the RSPB’s Spotlight series on iconic British Wildlife, Otters and her writing features in several anthologies, including all four of the Seasons books, edited by Melissa Harrison, the new Red 67 BOOK and Women On Nature, edited by Katharine Norbury.

Rebecca Schiller is a writer, journalist and the author of Earthed, which Amy Liptrot called ‘A beautiful memoir of one small plot of land and one complex human mind.’ She is also the author of Your No Guilt Pregnancy Plan and Why Human Rights in Childbirth Matter, as well as cofounder and trustee of the human rights charity Birthrights. Rebecca and her family raise a motley crew of goats, geese, ducks and chickens, and work their small plot to grow vegetables, fruit and flowers and restore wildlife to the land.


There is an option to include a copy of On Gallows Down with your ticket, which will be available to collect on the evening. Books will also be on sale on the night.



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