About me

I was invited to become Writer in Residence at the RSGS in 2015.  Someone recently remarked that I must have the best job in the world, and I totally agree with them!   Since then, I’ve been happily digging around in the Society’s archives, and many of the astonishing stories that I’ve found are included in my book, ‘The Great Horizon’.   In February 2018 I was hugely honoured to receive the Diploma of Honorary Fellowship of the Society.

I write regular articles for the RSGS’ blog and quarterly newsletter, ‘The Geographer‘.  I also offer occasional talks to clubs and societies on a variety of themes connected with exploration – please contact me if you’d like to find out more.

I’ve always had a passion for unearthing fascinating stories about people and places.   I live on the Craignish peninsula in Argyll, and I write about the wonderful history and wildlife of this landscape on my other blog, The Hazel Tree.

If you’d like more information, or have a great story to share, please contact me on jo(at)thehazeltree.co.uk

10 thoughts on “About me

  1. Hi Jo, glad to read of your post with RSGS – that’s fantastic! You must let me know when your book is published. I love their ‘home’ in Perth – just behind our totally beautiful Concert Hall where I’ve spent many happy hours since moving to Crieff in 2007.
    I’m now chair of Strathearn Archaeological and Historical Society, and have invited RSGS to speak to us – on 28th March 2017, in Crieff. Don’t know who’ll be speaking yet – but put it in you diary, as I’d be delighted to have you and Colin here as my guess. Not a posh affair, just a lot of nice people!

    Congrats to Colin on his big birthday. I find there are too many of these, these days!




    • Hi Ian, lovely to hear from you! That would be wonderful, thank you. 🙂 Yes, I’m very lucky to be involved with the RSGS and I am loving what I do. Thanks also for your good wishes to Colin. He had a fabulous time – possibly wishes he could do that every weekend! 😀 Best wishes, Jo


  2. Hi Jo – I was wondering if you would consider doing a Zoom talk for a society I belong to West of England Herb Society? I was hoping it would be on the theme of Britain’s Trees? The contact link is broken – is there a way I could DM you with more details?


  3. Hi Jo, I’ve just started to read your book ‘Britain’s trees’. I just wanted to say that I think it’s brilliant. Alder trees have never been more fascinating 🤨

    Thank you!


    • Hi Alex, that’s so nice, thank you very much!! I’m really glad that you’re enjoying it. I loved writing about trees, and I learned so much myself while I was doing the research. I think they’re amazing, especially the old stories and folklore attached to them. The alder was one of the species I used to overlook, but I notice them a lot more now! They had so many useful properties, and I especially love the story of Bran and the bridge over the river! With thanks again and best wishes, Jo


  4. Hello Jo, – following on from your excellent RSGS talk this evening I wonder if you have come across a book I received as a gift last year, – “A Woman in the Polar Night” by Christiane Ritter. Amazing story of a lady who spent a year with her husband and another man in a tiny log cabin on the northern tip of Spitzbergen in `1934. Her story can also be accessed on the web under her name.

    Kind regards

    Ian Fernie


    • Hi Ian, thanks so much for tuning in to the talk and I’m very glad you enjoyed it! I’ve heard of Christiane Ritter but not read her book so I’ll have to get that! Much appreciated, as I’m interested in the women who were in the polar regions. Best wishes, Jo


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