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Nature's little miracles star in immersive audiobook


TV entomologist Dr George McGavin examines a beetle up close
Credit: Lois Wendon

Why might insects hold the key to resolving some of our biggest environmental challenges? Which are the most important species in the UK? And what would happen if they were to face extinction? These are just some of the big questions tackled in a fascinating and immersive new audiobook, written and narrated by the nation’s favourite insect expert, Dr George McGavin.

In All Creatures Small and Great, the explorer, TV presenter and leading authority on biodiversity and entomology zooms in on nature’s smallest miracles and explores the wonders of insect life like never before, revealing why it’s time to start loving and understanding insects if we want to save ourselves.

Taking listeners on a rich audio journey through 3D soundscapes and awe-inspiring insights from some of the best-loved names in natural history, this unique work, written exclusively for production as an audiobook and containing rich audio-only features, shows the colossal ecological, climactic and cultural impact of insects and explains why we depend on them for our very survival.

Containing exclusive interviews with other leading experts, scientists and celebrity insect-lovers - including Sir David Attenborough, Alison Steadman and Jane Horrocks – George and his guests debate how insects support the ecosystem, how they pollinate, recycle and reproduce, while revealing what insects have done for humans and how we can protect them and reverse damage to their environments.

In addition to reimagining the traditional audiobook format by embracing podcast-style content, All Creatures Small and Great allows listeners to experience the insect realm up close, through relaxing and absorbing binaural soundscapes recorded in bee-filled meadows, along cliff paths and in coastal caves, at locations around the country.

Dr George McGavin said: “Insects are irreplaceable and indispensable. Lose insects and you lose the heart of the natural world. At a time when we are losing biodiversity faster than ever before it’s never been more vital to comprehend the giant impact of nature’s smallest creatures. I want to inspire love and curiosity about the insect world and I hope this audiobook will get people looking, listening and learning about insect life in a new way. Understand insects and you will come to love them”

All Creatures Small and Great: How insects make the world, featuring Sir David Attenborough and other guests, is out now, published by WFH Original (W.F. Howes), £16.99.

“This audiobook tells the tales of the little things that rule our world. How they came to be here, what they do for us, and their uncertain future in a world that doesn’t care about them nearly enough. Working with George, I learnt more in a few months than in my entire school years put together, so hopefully his wise words can redress that balance, before it’s too late.” Steve Backshall MBE, explorer, naturist and TV presenter

“In this remarkable audiobook, George McGavin combines his comprehensive understanding of the biology of insects with his own personal tales and those of experts to explain the extraordinary success of the insects, and to show their fundamental importance to life on earth - past, present and future. This audiobook is a paean to insects and a salutary story for our times. George speaks with a passion that is founded in deep expertise of these small creatures but with an eye to the big picture.” Professor Steve Simpson

About Dr George McGavin

Dr George McGavin is a regular TV and radio presenter for the BBC and others. He is an Honorary Research Associate at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History and a Research Associate of The Department of Zoology of Oxford University as well as a Senior Principal Research Fellow of Imperial College. George’s work has taken him from the tropical forests of Papua New Guinea to the caves of Thailand and from the jungles of Belize to the savannas of Tanzania. Dr George McGavin has several insect species named in his honour and hopes they survive him.

Guest contributors include:

Sir David Attenborough – Broadcaster and Natural Historian

Alison Steadman – Actress and Ambassador for the London Wildlife Trust

Dr Erica McAlister – Senior Curator, Natural History Museum

Professor Philip C. Stevenson – Kew Gardens, Biological Chemist

Professor Steve Simpson – Biologist and Biomedical Scientist

Professor Helen Roy – President of the Royal Entomological Society

Professor Karim Vahed – Entomologist specialising in insect behaviour

Anne Riley – Wharfdale Naturalists Society

Jane Horrocks – Actress and co-host of the podcast Queen Bees


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