AUTHOR and Daily Telegraph journalist Joe Shute will deliver this year’s McInroy & Wood lecture at the Borders Book Festival.

And he aims to shed new light on how, where and why the weather is changing and what has happened to our seasons.

Shute has travelled all over Britain to discover exactly how the seasons are warping, causing havoc with nature and affecting all our lives.

So why do flowers bloom in December? Why are summers now so hot and so wet? Where has all the drama we now see in the skies come from? Why is there frogspawn in November and wildfires rampaging across the northern moors? Joe has some answers and a forecast.

His book, ‘A Diary of the Lost Seasons’ is a blend of nature writing and journalism that investigates the history, folklore and mythology associated with the weather.

Shute told the Border Telegraph: “I’m really looking forward to the festival. I love the Borders and have visited many times on journalistic assignments. I haven’t been to the Borders Book Festival before, but I know about Sir Walter Scott whose poem (Twa Corbies) actually featured in my previous book ‘A Shadow Above – The Fall of the Raven’.

“It’s difficult writing about climate change because of the gloom surrounding the subject and writing anything positive might be seen as disingenuous, but I’ve seen all kinds of messages of hope such as people coming together at floods and wildfires. It’s amazing the community spirit shown at such times. I covered the huge fire on Saddleworth Moor then when I went back sometime later there was people re-wetting the ground.

“As individuals we could eat less meat, consume less in general and reuse stuff as much as possible but I think we focus too much on individuals and tend to blame people.

"For example, electric cars are out of reach for most people but it’s simplistic to demonise those who can’t afford them when in fact it’s affluent lifestyles that contribute more.

“All these things make a little difference, but dramatic and drastic change is required. I am more hopeful now following the announcement last week of the government’s green plans which is encouraging although I don’t think they go far enough.

“I’m not sure right now if I will be going to the COP26 Conference in Glasgow but I don’t think it will achieve enough.

"There are big challenges with the absence of China and others, but I do take heart from the overall response to the pandemic. There is a lot to be said about international co-operation and countries working together.”

The Baillie Gifford Borders Book Festival, Abbotsford, Melrose, November 2-7. Tickets available at or by calling 0131 290 2112.

Joe will be appearing on Saturday, November 6 at 6.30pm (£11, £9).