AN author hopes to encourage the people of Maldon to protect its wildlife with his new book.

John Buchanan, 59, has lived in Maldon for 20 years.

He has spent his spare time exploring the historic town’s natural history.

This has been the inspiration for new book Wildlife of Maldon after he discovered there is no other book focused on the town’s fauna.

He said: “The main reason for writing the book is to celebrate what great wildlife we have around Maldon and Heybridge.

“Over the past few years a group of us have been wondering what we could see if we set our minds to it and we have been amazed at the results.

“What makes it so good is the diversity of habitats.

“We have the estuary, the river, gravel pits, woods, farmland and parks, all with their own set of natural inhabitants.

“The estuary is particularly important as in the winter it attracts internationally-important numbers of wildfowl and waders, many of which have migrated hundreds if not thousands of miles to reach us.”

Maldon Books hosted the new launch at its Promenade Park book hut on Saturday.

John set out to discover just how much wildlife can be found on our doorstep.

It has been four to five years in the making, and he pushed hard over the past year to get it out to readers.

Chapters include when, where and how readers can see the best the area has to offer.

There are also suggestions for steps residents can take to protect and preserve wildlife.

“Sadly many of our species are in decline,” said John.

“We have already lost some breeding birds, such as spotted flycatcher and meadow pipit, and water vole appear to be struggling.

“This year there was only one regular site for turtle doves, a species that used to be seen and heard throughout our area.

“It is hoped that this book will help spread awareness of what we still have and encourage people to take steps to ensure it can be protected for future generations to enjoy.”

The book is fully illustrated with photographs taken in the area.

John has been a life-long birdwatcher and more recently a general naturalist.

He focuses on how best wildlife can continue to thrive with increasing human populations and climate change.

Wildlife of Maldon is available for £17 from Maldon Books, in the High Street or online at