Over the coming weeks we are going to bring you some book reviews. We will cover essential reading and listening (in our humble opinion of course) for all those passionate about the natural world and how we live, work and learn within it. Some of these publications you will know well, others less so and some perhaps not at all. We believe they are useful for teachers, educators, parents and anyone involved in aspects of outdoor learning.

On one level they will add to your knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the natural world. This can be linked to key parts of the curriculum through teaching and learning. On another important level, they provide us with insight, facts, great stories and activities that we can pass on directly to young people of all ages and in all educational settings. We hope that you find this feature really useful.

We should stress that we are entirely impartial with these reviews and gain no commercial return for making these recommendations to you. They are just great reads that we have loved and learned from!


‘Animal Societies’ by Ashley WardFront Cover of Animal Societies by Ashley Ward - Audible Original

Our first recommendation is not actually a book, but rather an Audible listen. It can also be bought as an audio CD. In ‘Animal Societies’, biologist Ashley Ward takes us on an enormously wide ranging exploration of social animals from ocean invertebrates to insects, birds and mammals. He eloquently and powerfully makes the case that animals are not as far removed from us as we might imagine.

In a time where humans are struggling to navigate cityscapes, isolation and a loneliness epidemic, Ward shows us that studying the social behaviour of animals offers insights that are valuable in their own right, and provide a window into the evolutionary basis of our own species.

The scale of this collaborative connectivity amongst so many of the animals that share the planet with us will surprise and delight. It will also provide you with lots of fascinating facts and evidence based information on how human characteristics such as altruism, empathy, leadership and language can be witnessed among animal groups.

It’s also narrated beautifully with great humour and in an easily accessible style. We loved Animal Societies and cannot recommend it highly enough.

5 star rating!



Let us know what you think in the comments. Then, head over to our blog to see what else we have to say and access free Outdoor Learning resources.