History of British Wildlife Publishing

British Wildlife Publishing (BWP) was founded in 1989 by Andrew and Anne Branson, and over subsequent decades it established an enviable reputation as a highly respected small publishing house specialising in natural history magazines and books.

Although at the time there were a few publications that focused on specific areas of the natural world (particularly birds), there was no broader publication that embraced the full spectrum of British wildlife, appealing both to serious naturalists and the increasing number of professionals involved in conservation. Unable to find a magazine that fitted the bill, and with a long career in publishing under his belt, Andrew decided to create his own – and British Wildlife magazine was born.

Over the past 30 years, the magazine has gone from strength to strength and has been hailed as ‘the most important and informative publication on wildlife of our times’ by The Independent. With that reputation firmly established, BWP was the natural home for another kindred-spirit title that covers all aspects of managing land with wildlife in mind: Conservation Land Management, originally published by Natural England as their in-house magazine, enact. The company also produced a very successful list of specialist entomological books, drawing on the expertise of some of the leading specialists in their field and the internationally recognised skills of artist Richard Lewington.

BWP also published the British Wildlife Collecton, a series of definitive studies of individual aspects of the British natural landscape. Recent volumes in this series have included Climate Change, by Trevor Beebee, and Rocky Shores, by John-Archer Thomson and Julian Cremona.

In 2014, BWP was acquired by Osprey Publishing, an Oxford-based publisher of specialist books in a variety of subjects. In December 2014 Osprey, and with it BWP, was acquired by Bloomsbury Publishing.

Bloomsbury has now incorporated the range of BWP books into their respected and growing Bloomsbury Natural History imprint, while the two magazines British Wildlife and Conservation Land Management were acquired by NHBS Ltd, the leading supplier of natural history, ecology and conservation books and equipment.

Bloomsbury and NHBS are working closely together to ensure that the spirit of BWP lives on in the books and the magazines, and to continue the tradition of quality natural history publishing established by Andrew Branson three decades ago.

Today, more than three decades on, the magazine remains as popular and relevant as ever, while its core aim – to inform and inspire those with a passion for the wildlife of Britain and Ireland – has become increasingly important in the face of the ever-growing threats to our natural environment.

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