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Summary

An anthology of programmes hosted by and about Roger Deakin, the legendary naturalist, introduced by his friend Robert Macfarlane.

Author, filmmaker and conservationist Roger Deakin first came to fame with his best-selling book Waterlog, which brought wild swimming into the mainstream and pioneered the 'new nature writing' genre. Published posthumously, his second travelogue, Wildwood, and collected journals, Notes from Walnut Tree Farm, were also hailed as classics. The collection is introduced by Robert Macfarlane, a dear friend of Roger Deakin's as well as his literary executor.

Deakin's life at Walnut Tree Farm is the subject of the two radio soundscapes that open this collection. In The House, he introduces us to his home of almost 40 years, presenting an atmospheric sound portrait of this ancient, timber-framed Suffolk farmhouse - from the sighing of the wind to the scuttling spiders and the chirpings of the swallows up the chimney. The Garden takes us on a tour of the untamed land surrounding it - with its moat, shepherd's hut and the walnut tree that gave the farm its name - offering us an intimate record of the changing seasons.

Cigarette on the Waveney sees Deakin paddling his canoe, Cigarette, from the source of the River Waveney at Redgrave Fen in Suffolk to Geldeston Locks in Norfolk. Recorded over several days and nights, this evocative audio diary charts his journey as he captures the sounds of the waterway and its wildlife.

Next, in a five-part abridged reading of Wildwood by Sean Baker, we journey with Deakin from Suffolk in the spring to the Australian outback, in search of what lies behind humanity's profound connection with wood and trees.

A radio tribute to Waterlog follows, as anthropologist and wild swimmer Alice Roberts joins friends and fans of Deakin, including Robert Macfarlane, Sue Clifford and Richard Mabey, to celebrate the book's enduring legacy.

And in a pair of travel documentaries, we take two delightful day trips with Roger Deakin. In Ramblings, he takes a walk with presenter Clare Balding around his home patch of Diss in Suffolk and in On the Beach, he spends a summer day on the Essex coast near Clacton, revisiting one of the places he described so vividly in Waterlog: Jaywick Sands.

The House

Presented by Roger Deakin

Produced by Sarah Blunt

First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 2nd February 2004

The Garden

Presented by Roger Deakin

Produced by Sarah Blunt

First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 5th December 2005

Cigarette on the Waveney

Presented by Roger Deakin

Produced by Sarah Blunt

First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 26th July 2005

Wildwood

Read by Sean Baker

Abridged by Julian Wilkinson

Produced by Amber Barnfather

First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 18th-22nd June 2007

Waterlog

Presented by Alice Roberts

Produced by Sarah Blunt

With: Sue Clifford, Richard Mabey, Robert Macfarlane, Joe Minihane and Kate Rew

First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 12th May 2019

Ramblings

Presented by Clare Balding

Produced by Mark Smalley

First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 20th May 2005

On the Beach

Presented by Roger Deakin

Produced by Jane Greenwood

First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 17th November 2003

©2021 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd (P)2021 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd

More from the same

Narrator

What listeners say about Roger Deakin: A BBC Nature Collection

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At long last!!!

The amount of times I’ve contacted the BBC to see if the programs Roger Deakin recorded were available on cd or on line. Nothing over the years since they were made.
And now here they all are ‘The house’ The garden, Cigarette on the Waverley, Waterlog etc.
Wow, they are all beautifully put together and produced by Sarah Blunt. Also wonderful readings from Rogers book Wildwood, and ramberlings with Clare Balding. All in one brilliant audio book.
Can’t recommend this enough! Thank you.