Patrick Laurie

Patrick Laurie runs a small farm in the Galloway hills. Preoccupied by cattle, grouse and wading birds, he is involved in a number of upland and hill-farming conservation projects, both at home and across the UK.

Patrick’s book Native: Life in a Vanishing Landscape was a Times Bestseller, becoming one of the Times and Sunday Times Nature Books of the Year 2020. It was also shortlisted for the Wainwright Prize for UK Nature Writing and the Saltire Society’s Scottish Book of the Year Awards. 

Native has been published in Holland and America, where it was renamed Galloway. A variety of new writing projects are currently underway, including the delivery of a writing course for farmers and rural workers in association with the University of Leicester.


17 thoughts on “Patrick Laurie

  1. Marco

    I am a hunter Italian, I’m 33 years I wanted to congratulate you. Your blog is really nice. I wanted you asked advice, I will be January 22 at Arbroath to hunt woodcock …. do you think will there be? I heard that almost all have flown to Ireland. I’ll have my chances?
    Thank you for your kind reply and pardon my English

    1. Hello Marco,
      Thanks for your message. It’s hard to say for certain where the woodcock will be by the time you get to Scotland, but it looks like they are mainly along the west coast at the moment. The weather is being very harsh, and the birds are always unpredictable, but I’m sure that there will be plenty for you to shoot at. Even on a bad year, there are always woodcock, so don’t despair…
      I hope you have a great trip,

  2. Patrick–this is quite an ambition and a worthy one, I might add.
    I have no advice, as I have no experience with such an enterprise but to say–“do not let the naysayers and curb your appetite for such success”.

  3. Graeme Dalby

    I am Project Manager for the Langholm Moor Demonstration Project. Should you want to have a look over there at some stage, just let me know.

  4. Mike Groves

    Hi Patrick,
    Out of interest I left a comment regarding your blog – White on Target a couple of weeks back. Could you kindly clarify why it was deleted?

    Regards from Mike.

  5. Just wanted to say well done for taking on such a project. I have been lucky to grow up with grouse and started working with/for them when I was 10 years old. All these years later and I still never take these wonderful birds for granted. All the best with your project and keep up the good work.
    All the best,

  6. Hi, what a delight to stumble across your blog. I too have similar interests, although am coming at them from a slightly different angle. I will follow your blog with interest and may, with your permission, keep in contact…albeit electronically. I am hatching a plan that I am hoping will help a group of estates revive local moorland…a huge challenge but no more than the one you have set yourself.

    With best wishes

  7. Steve Carver

    Just been having a browse through your blog which I’ve read with interest. As a frequent hill-goer with an interest in wildlife and landscape, I’ve begun to notice more and more in the press, as well as on the hill, conflicts between land managers and conservation bodies (though groups like the Heather Trust, GWCT and Songbird Survival appear to be bridging the divide). One thing I have noticed myself has been the apparent increase in the use of traps (Fen and Larsen) in an attempt to control vermin species. Perhaps, I’ve just become more observant in my old age and notice them more, but is this paralleled by an increase vermin like crows, stoats, weasels, raptors, foxes, and if so why are these species on the rise?

  8. Richard Eckton

    Have a look at Ruffled Feathers blog, Mid Wales bird ringing, Curlew curtain call, Ground nesting birds recovery project. I would like to say
    how much I enjoy reading your blog

  9. Patrick Harrold

    Hi Patrick,

    I have followed your blog on and off for the last few years taking particular interest in Blackgrouse. I would like to start a captive breeding project with a view to releasing these birds into suitable habitat. I think the problems encountered with captive breeding in relation to diet and predator avoidance can in part be overcome.
    I’m a hunter naturalist myself…leaning more towards the latter.
    Look forward to hearing your thoughts on the matter

  10. Hi Patrick,
    I discovered your blog recently whilst researching a short trip to Galloway, really enjoying your writing. We’ll be in the area from April 3rd – 5th. If any of those might be good for a quick walk on the hill and a chat it would be good to meet. I’m interested in birds, collaborative conservation, landscape, etc., hoping as a southern urbanite to develop my probably limited understanding of practical conservation in the uplands. Drop me an email at if that might suit.
    All the best,

  11. Rupert Brewer

    Hi Patrick
    Having had great success in reversing the decline in Waders in the Hampshire Avon Valley with the GWCT. My mind has wandered and with the knowledge that Black grouse once were here historically, do you have anything to share regarding their demise in Southern England?

  12. Hello Patrick
    I have just finished reading Native. Its a wonderful book to read thank you for sharing your life in it. Sarah who illustrated your cover is an artist friend of mine which is how i first heard of the book. So glad i did. I will be looking out for more from you in the future when you have time. Hahaha

  13. Patrick. I have just finished reading your book NATIVE. Brilliant. I live in southern England but I have seen curlews in Derbyshire on holiday. I have seen a herd of belted Galloways on Box Hill in Surrey!
    I went to school in the countryside in Berkshire in the 60s and I remember flocks of swallows house Martins, saplings with their lovely rasping petit sound among other lovely birds like chaffinches, liners bullfinch, wagtails etc
    They’ve all gone now. Sad. I will cherish your book and read it again shortly. Nick

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