As of February 2016, after 416 posts, and over six and a half years of blogging, I'm taking a break.
I've explained why here. There's plenty of past posts to read, though - hope you enjoy them !
Looking for a brilliant present for a young naturalist ? Buy my book ! Available from Amazon UK,
Amazon US and worldwide but buy from a local bookshop if you can.
Archived posts: The following articles are from the month or year requested:

At the Eden Project with the Royal Society


Before I begin, I have a very special request....see the black box at the end of this blog post for more !

Now, as some of you might know, last Sunday me and my family traveled down to Cornwall, for a VERY big event on the Monday at the Eden Project. I was going down for the Royal Society Young Person's Book Award. I was on the shortlist of with five other amazing authors.

Long story short, I didn't win, and Professor Robert Winston's book "Utterly Amazing Science" did. The awards ceremony wasn't until lunchtime, but my family and my editor, Jo, went down to the Eden Project at 9am, because there was something we had to do first....

I need just a few seconds of your time....


I need your help ! Can you spare a few minutes to help me out ?

A few weeks I encouraged young naturalists to enter the Cairngorms Nature Young Presenter competition. I entered a video myself, talking about discovering the wildlife near my house - and now I've been shortlisted in the final ten.  Now there is a public vote to find the winner !

What I'd really like you to do....is go to this page and scroll to the bottom where the final ten videos are listed. If you think mine is the best (and I hope you do !) is to click on "Vote" next to my thumbnail. You'll be asked to login to your Facebook account (to make sure more than one person doesn't vote) and then your vote will be added. I really, really hope you can spare a few minutes to help me out - it means a lot to me ! Thanks again !

So....I didn't win....


So....the short story is I didn't win. But congratulations to Professor Robert Winston whose book "Utterly Amazing Science" who did win !

I'm down at the Royal Society Young Person's Book Award at the Eden Project in Cornwall with my amazing editor Jo Bourne (in the picture) at the moment. The shortlist (announced in May) was six amazing science books aimed at children - "365 Science Activities", "Frank Einstein and the Antimatter Motor", "Night Sky Watcher" and Tiny: The Invisible World of Microbes" as well as my own "Jake's Bones". In the end, after all the judging, Utterly Amazing Science" won the top prize. I'll blog more about my amazing day later in the week - but thanks to everyone who was involved in the judging, and to the Royal Society !

My 400th post - and hello Netherlands !


I'm in the middle of exams at the moment, so you may have noticed that my posts recently have been shorter than normal. But since this is my 400th blog post (really !) it seemed like the perfect time to share some good news: there's now a Dutch-language edition of my book !

They've made some changes to the cover (bye bye T-rex !) and changed the title to "Het Grote Bottennoek Van Jake" (which means "Jake's Big Book of Bones"), but otherwise it's the same great book. It's also the fourth foreign edition after the UK version, the USA version (which has my photo on the cover) and the Korean edition.

Next weekend is also going to be very exciting for me: I'm travelling down to the Eden Project in Cornwall for the awards ceremony for the Royal Society Young Person's Book Award. There are six books on the shortlist, and judging has been by childrens' groups all over the UK. Fingers crossed - and I'll post here what the result it as soon as I can (probably on the Monday evening of the 16th).

Thank you again for reading my blog and inspiring me to write 400 posts (as well as breaking through 2,000 followers on Facebook in the last week !) And here's a short video (click to read on) by the Royal Society explaining why my book is on the shortlist:

The best camouflaged animal ever ?


Before I start: I've just flown back in the last few hours from Faclan, the Hebridean Arts Festival in Stornoway. Thank you to everyone who came to my talk at An Lanntair yesterday - it was brilliant to see so many interested faces and sign so many books ! (they completely sold out). Hope to see you again soon !

 This week's post is more of a spot-the-animal. I'd left my trail camera on a roe deer path last week, about a mile west of the badger wood, and among the other things it filmed, I also had a few frames and video that looked like the picture above. Nothing there, I thought, until I looked closer. But actually, there is a quite common but *very* well camouflaged animal there ! It's one that I've only seen myself once. Can you spot it ?

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