Wednesday 8 November 18:30 - 19:30

From seals’ frisky behaviour to red squirrels making their last stand in the battle against the greys, here are the mammals of Britain as you’ve never seen them before.

Wild boar that don’t exist – at least officially. Eccentric hedgehog behaviour. Mines inhabited by greater horseshoe bats (along with cavers, ravers and teenagers smoking unusual substances.) Water voles thriving in Glasgow’s East End – but wait, where’s the water? Fiona Mathews and Tim Kendall, a husband-and-wife team track down Britain’s enigmatic mammals as they live, thrive, or struggle to survive, often forced to fit around human habitation.

You can also ‘save a seat’ to watch the live stream from home here.

About the authors

Fiona and Tim live in the wilds of East Devon with their daughters, rabbits, and Labrador. Fiona is Professor of Environmental Biology at the University of Sussex and Chair of Mammal Conservation Europe. Tim teaches at the University of Exeter and writes about everything from poetry to pine martens. Their co-authored book Black Ops and Beaver Bombing: Adventures with Britain’s Wild Mammals (Oneworld) has been shortlisted for the Wainwright Prize for Writing On Conservation. Part natural history, part travel writing, and part bad jokes (what exactly did the beaver say to the tree?), the book criss-crosses Britain in search of eight mammal species that are threatened with extinction.

This event will be in-person at Exeter Custom House. We have increased capacity at Quay Words events, so you may be sitting next to someone who is not in your household. We are still taking precautions to ensure our audiences are protected from Covid 19. We will be keeping windows open to ensure good ventilation in the building so you may want to bring an extra layer. Please do not attend Quay Words events if you have symptoms of Covid-19 or are feeling unwell. This event is going to be filmed for live broadcast on Crowdcast. You may appear on screen. Please only book if you are happy with this.

You can find out more about the accessibility of the Custom House here. If you have any access needs you’d like to discuss with us before the event you can contact us on We can offer free carer tickets if you need help to support you to attend.