James Aldred is an EMMY award winning cameraman, adventurer and professional tree climber who has made a career out of travelling the world, filming wildlife for the BBC and climbing trees. It’s a career choice that has inevitably presented a few dangers along the way, including being chased by gorillas, stung by African bees and dive-bombed by an aggressive monkey-eating harpy eagle while filming high up in the Venezuelan canopies.
But for James, whose love for nature began early on in his life, the rewards of working in the wild make it all worthwhile. After all, who else can profess to having safely transporting Sir David Attenborough to the 200-foot treetops of Costa Rica, Borneo and Thailand during the filming of BBC1 show The Life of Mammals?
Come and enjoy an inspiring evening with James as he introduces his memoir The Man Who Climbs Trees, revealing the extraordinary stories of his adventures across the globe as he scaled the most incredible and majestic trees in existence.
James will be in conversation with writer and naturalist Helen Macdonald, whose Bestselling novel H is for Hawk is under development for the big screen, and who writes about the natural world for the New York Times.
Find out more about the author
This is the story of a professional British tree climber, cameraman and adventurer, who has made a career out of travelling the world, filming wildlife for the BBC and climbing trees.
James’s climbs take him around the globe, scaling the most incredible and majestic trees in existence: the strangler fig tree of Borneo, the monolithic Congolese moabi tree, the fern-covered howler tree of Costa Rica and the colossal mountain ash of Australia. On the way he meets native tribes and jungle cats, he gets stung by African bees and chased by gorillas, and he spends his nights in a hammock pitched hundreds of feet up in the air, with only the stars above him.
This book blends incredible stories of his adventures in the branches and a fascination with the majesty of trees to show us the joy of rising – literally – above the daily grind, up into the canopy of the forest.
'The wide horizontal branches stretched away from me to curl up like the giant fingers of an enormous cupped hand. I slid back into the centre of its protective palm and waited for my heart to slow. After a while the small herd of fallow deer I had been following emerged from the trees, carefully picking their way through the churned-up leaf litter to pass beneath me in the wake of the ponies. They had been there all along and I was immediately struck that not one of them appeared to have seen or smelt me as I crouched in the arms of the oak directly above.'