Dr Michael Leach
Dr Michael Leach

All About Dr Michael Leach

Dr Michael Leach has spent his whole working life chasing animals around the world – gorillas in central Africa, polar bears in the Arctic, sharks circling the Galapagos and lions in Africa. Of course he doesn’t just chase animals, he writes about them and so far has 26 books which have been translated into 14 languages.

Michael has also worked extensively in television, as wildlife cameraman on more than 100 TV documentaries for both the BBC and ITV.

Michael’s School Visits

Michael Leach’s school workshops (key stage 1, 2, 3 & 4) are a mixture of wildlife, fun, writing and pure adventure. Along the way he explains how snow monkeys make friends, how to keep warm at 50 degrees below zero, what to eat in the Amazon rainforest, how to avoid being eaten by a polar bear and even teaches children how to ‘speak gorilla’. And, coming from a professional scientist/author, the information will be very accurate!

An Outline of Educational Aims

• to show that non fiction books can be exciting. The workshops are based on Michael’s experience working with some of the world’s most iconic and dangerous wild animals – and this is a powerful draw to children
• to illustrate book production from idea to publication
• to show life and work in non-familiar countries and environments
• to explore the plight of endangered species
• to appreciate the consequences of habitat destruction
• to encourage children to develop observational and reading/research skills
• to stimulate imaginative engagement with other species and contexts
• to allow children to meet and question an author who has worked with these animals in person

Some of the Species Available for Inclusion

• Gorillas
• Tigers
• Polar Bears
• Monkeys
• Sharks
• Bears
• Wolves

Micheal’s Visits

Educational workshops devised, developed and, by negotiation, delivered in association with Dr Meriel Lland. Meriel is Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing, in the Department of Contemporary Arts at Manchester Metropolitan University. She teaches units in journalism and non-fiction work.

Michael Leach is based in the Staffordshire Peak District and gives presentations almost anywhere. To date he has given more than 3000 in the UK, Netherlands, Finland, Canada, Ireland and India.

Michael arrives by car and, in terms of resources, simply needs access to a screen and digital projector. (Plus a reasonable supply of coffee please!)

As an author of wildlife books Michael is invited into schools simply as a visiting writer or as part of Book Week, Science Week, Environment Week etc. Topics covered include writing non-fiction, endangered species, habitat destruction, specific environments such as rainforests, the Poles, and single species such as gorillas and elephants. Workshops can be designed to fit specific events.   

Michael’s Author Visits

Michael works mainly with primary school children, at every KS. Although the structure of the day is extremely flexible, typically it would consist of 2 workshops in the morning and 2 in the afternoon. There is no restriction to group size. Sometimes the day can simply consist of interactive workshops on writing wildlife books, but it can also include writing exercises as required.

Michael’s Books

RABBITS – A & C Black
THE RABBIT – Shire Publications
MICE OF THE BRITISH ISLES – Shire Publications
BEARS – Mallard Press / New York. Pub USA only
BIG CATS – Mallard Press / New York Pub USA only
SECRET LIFE OF SNOWDONIA – Chatto & Windus
THE COMPLETE OWL – Chatto & Windus
THE GREAT APES – FACES IN NATURE’S MIRROR  Blandford
THE WILDLIFE OF SHROPSHIRE – Shropshire Books
HIPPOPOTAMUS – WWF/Wayland
GRIZZLY BEAR – WWF/Wayland
GIRAFFE – WWF/Wayland
HIDDEN SHALLOWS – Quandary Press
WOLF – WWF / Wayland
KOALA – WWF/Wayland
THE ONES THAT WORKED – Quandary Press
FOX – Hodder
BADGER – Hodder
HEDGEHOG – Hodder
OTTER – Hodder
DEER – Hodder
BROWN HARE – Hodder
MOOSE – WWF/Wayland

Reviews and Recommendations

“Just wanted to say a huge thank you to you for today. The children will remember your visit for a long time to come. They were so excited about the entire day and I think that this was certainly validated by the number who either bought your book or turned up for your autograph at the end of school! I know that the rest of the staff felt that it was a great success – particularly for that Year 6 boy who has struggled to complete a task all year without the sweating of blood and tears!” St John the Baptist CE Junior School

‘Just thought I’d drop you a quick line and say thanks for your enthusiastic visit yesterday. The children absolutely loved it and I have lots of positive feedback from the staff.’ Weston Coyney Junior School

‘I just wanted to say a HUGE thank you for recommending Mike.  What an inspirational man!  We have had such a fantastic day and will definitely be inviting him back for another workshop in the future. It has been a pleasure ‘coordinating’ this event with you. On behalf of Ashville College Pre-Prep School, many many thanks, once again.’ Georgina McIntyre

“A big thank you for yesterday. Both children and staff were absolutely buzzing after your visit. You really captured their imagination. It was incredible to see how some children who normally find it difficult to get motivated and engaged were thoroughly enthralled by what you do. It was also interesting to see the depth of thought that went into some of the questions that they asked; they were keen to listen to your experiences and share their own. You have made a really positive contribution to our book week for which we are all very grateful.” Stanbridge Primary School

“You wouldn’t believe the incredible writing they did about gorillas. Obviously you are inspiring! Thank you.” Chase Bridge Primary School

“The children enjoyed listening to you and questioning you, they were all talking about your visit with great excitement.” Fallings Park Primary School

“Mike Leach did an excellent job of explaining lots about the natural world. Aside from being an engaging speaker with a whole host of fascinating stories to tell, Mike has a great visual appeal for children due to his incredible selection of photographs. On every occasion I have seen him with large groups of children Mike has held their attention easily for an hour and motivated them to ask excellent questions afterwards.’ Carterknowle Primary School 

To Make a Booking

To make an enquiry about Dr Michael Leach, or any of the other authors, poets & illustrators listed on this website, please phone Trevor Wilson on +44 (0) 1535 656015, or email him at trevor@caboodlebooks.co.uk

Further information on Dr Michael Leach is available from his website: www.michael-leach.co.uk