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Into the Red: a collection of words and art inspired by Britain’s most vulnerable birds

Curated by Kit Jewitt and Mike Toms

BTO, 2022

176pp; 70 colour illustrations

ISBN 978-1-912642-38-0; £24.99

Into the Red is the follow-on to 2020’s Red Sixty Seven (Brit. Birds 113: 719–720) and is presented in much the same style: a double spread with, as the subtitle says, words and art inspired by Britain’s most vulnerable birds. Those birds, more precisely, are the species included on the Red list in the latest Birds of Conservation Concern (Brit. Birds 114: 723–747). Although the conservation fortunes of some species featured in Red Sixty Seven have improved to the point that they have been moved to the Amber or even Green list, other species have shown such severe declines that they have been placed on the latest Red list. These include familiar species, such as the Common Swift Apus apus and Greenfinch Chloris chloris. The net consequence of these changes is, sadly, an increase in the number of Red-listed species, from 67 to 70. The book thus features 70 authors and 70 artists, who have come together to produce beautiful passages of text and illustrations for each of the 70 species. The variation in styles is a delight: from rather scientific takes on the conservation of a species to loose prose reminiscing on personal memories, and from abstract sketches to linocuts and sculptures. 

Anyone who enjoyed Red Sixty Seven is unlikely to need any persuasion to purchase Into the Red. For anyone who remains unsure, consider that this book is actively helping the species it features – proceeds from sales go towards work with Red-listed species by the BTO and Rare Breeding Birds Panel – and, while that may be a good reason to buy it, the smorgasbord of works inside are sure to provide plenty of good reasons to enjoy it.

Stephen Menzie

Issue 3
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a collection of words and art inspired by Britain’s most vulnerable birds

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