Patrick Barkham

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Wild Child: Coming Home to Nature

book | 2020

From climbing trees and making dens, to building sandcastles and pond-dipping, many of the activities we associate with a happy childhood take place outdoors. And yet, the reality for many contemporary children is very different. The studies tell us that we are raising a generation who are so alienated from nature that they can't identify the commonest birds or plants, they don't know where their food comes from, they are shuttled between home, school and the shops and spend very little time in green spaces - let alone roaming free.

In this timely and personal book, celebrated nature writer Patrick Barkham draws on his own experience as a parent and a forest school volunteer to explore the relationship between children and nature. Unfolding over the course of a year of snowsuits, muddy wellies, and sunhats, Wild Child is both an intimate story of children finding their place in natural world, and a celebration of the delight we can all find in even modest patches of green.


Audio Rights


The audio rights are handled by Alice Lutyens.


A thought-provoking exploration of the value of getting your children outside.

The Sunday Times

After reading Barkham’s book I am more eager than ever for a return to normal so I can get back to exploring my inner wild child … Wild Child discusses the value of nature in young lives … highlights a relationship with the natural world as being essential… celebrates forest schools, urban environments and the joy of connecting with our surroundings … I am convinced.

Irish Times

Timely … [Patrick Barkham] reveals the abundance of wildlife that can be explored in our own back gardens… One can’t help but conclude from Barkham’s book that it is time to rethink the entire way our children are educated… they could throw in a copy of Wild Child for the teachers.

The Herald

Elegant and moving . . . suggests how, in the post-pandemic future, we might do better by our offspring despite having less capital to spend on them.


Read during lockdown, this absorbing and timely book feels even more urgent. . . warm, intimate, reflective and hopeful, showing the way to a brighter future for us all.

BBC Wildlife

Patrick Barkham's entrancing Wild Child shows us how to reconnect our children with nature, to a world of excitement and discovery, of mud in the hair and joy in the heart. If ever there was a book to fuel the ecological interest of future generations, this is it. An inspiration for parents, grandparents and teachers, it is equally about showing adults how to recover their own joie de vivre

Isabella Tree

Karolina Sutton
+44 (0)20 7393 4428
Email Karolina Sutton