Publication date: 18th November 2021
About seventy-one per cent of the Earth’s surface is water, and even on dry land we remain closely connected to aquatic life. It provides us with oxygen, food, medicine and materials. Wild waterlife infiltrates our lives in many surprising ways. Every other breath we take is filled with oxygen provided by ocean-dwelling microscopic plants. A type of seaweed provides a means to directly test whether people are infected with viruses, including Covid-19. Robotics design takes inspiration from a pike’s ability to accelerate with greater g-force than a Porsche.
Wild Waters by Susanne Masters is a celebration of the breadth of wildlife that can be found in and around our varied waterways, from oceans and rivers to rock pools and ponds. Armchair explorers can read a fascinating account of how aquatic plants and animals enrich human life. Swimmers, paddleboarders, dog walkers, families and anyone with a passion for the great outdoors can learn about local wildlife, including when and where to look for different species without causing any harm.
With stunning illustrations by Alice Goodridge, Wild Waters provides a tantalising insight into the world beneath the surface.
Susanne Masters is a plant scientist, writer and swimmer who loves connecting people with nature and the environment. She studied conservation science and ethnobotany, and works on the botanical side of product development for the spa and distilling industries, with a particular interest in sustainable wild harvesting and cultivation. Susanne has written about wildlife and travel for a broad range of media, including BBC Wildlife magazine, BBC Earth, BBC Travel, Countryfile magazine, the Guardian, Red Bull Adventure and the New York Times. She writes a monthly column on wildlife for Outdoor Swimmer magazine, and has contributed to The World Atlas of Street Food and Kew’s Teas, Tonics and Tipples. She has swum in the Bosphorus race from Asia to Europe, at a winter festival in China, and at high altitude in Bhutan. She swims outdoors all year round in the UK.
Alice Goodridge is an illustrator and avid outdoor enthusiast with a passion for adventure and a background in environmental research. An experienced long-distance cold-water swimmer and swimming coach, she founded SwimWild in 2018, enabling people to have fun while building their confidence and skills in open water around the Scottish Highlands and islands.
What are people saying about Wild Waters?
‘In Wild Waters, Masters takes readers on a vividly depicted journey to the British Isles’ most treasured aquatic habitats. Gorgeously illustrated and packed with fascinating details about the wild creatures that live in or near the water, this book is a must-read for anyone who enjoys spending time in nature or is drawn to the water!’ – Dr Cassandra Quave, Emory University Herbarium Curator and author of The Plant Hunter: A Scientist’s Quest for Nature’s Next Medicines
‘A deep dive into the aquatic world, Wild Waters is a fascinating guide to where we swim and the wildlife we might encounter there. Part field guide, part natural and human history of our waterways, Wild Waters is engagingly written with a scientist’s eye for detail by Susanne Masters and beautifully illustrated by Alice Goodridge. Full of fascinating facts as well as elegant prose and drawings, Masters shares her knowledge about the wildlife we swim with and the places that we swim in to help you have a deeper connection with the water on your next wild swim. A magical book.’ – Jonathan Cowie, editor of Outdoor Swimmer
‘Susanne Masters writes for those who love the water and land alike. She paints with words for readers, in the way that the movie My Octopus Teacher brought to life a dynamic and interconnected underwater world for viewers. Her writing combines science, stories, history and delectable moments of watery delight. She will take you on a historical journey with intriguing facts then let you rise to the surface to look at a tiny plant or large animal. When you come up for air, she has shown you how it is all connected. Masters presents, with straightforward words and a nuanced grace, tactical advice for how to interact with organisms in a world different from our own. She takes the reader into watery worlds where one may never get to go, but upon finishing that chapter, will feel like you have been. Reading her work connects you to the water/land interface of ecosystems and the dynamics of water itself through ways of looking at a world that you usually need to get wet to see. Those who engage in water sports, swimming and or diving will all get to go deeper into what they experience. And for those who are simply curious, they will be drawn in as soon as they start to read the first lines of Susanne Masters’ both lyrical and factual way of using words, mingling them together to create an illuminating, thought-provoking and fun experience.’ – Dr Maria Fadiman, Professor of Geography at Florida Atlantic University and National Geographic Explorer