The first and truest nature conservationist
"Great Nature writers are voices from the past, pointing towards the future. They speak to us, always, from now. Perhaps they are set up to do this by Nature herself, having become her mouthpieces. Richard Jefferies, however, went further: he allowed Nature to absorb him, so that he became part of her. It is hardly surprising that his writings inspired our greatest Nature poet, Edward Thomas. Now, as our severance from Nature widens, so Jefferies’s messages increase in importance. The prospect of Sir David Attenborough, one of his successors, lying forgotten a century from now beggars belief – yet that is precisely what has happened to Jefferies, the most deeply spiritual of our Nature writers and the first and truest nature conservationist. His message is simple: in Nature we truly belong."
Matthew Oates National Trust/BBC Radio 4