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Ipswich: Mabel the owl’s story is told in new book

09:00 07 December 2012

Ranger Matt Berry took these pictures of Mabel the resident owl of Christchurch Park, sunning in the winter sun 

ES 9.2.12

Ranger Matt Berry took these pictures of Mabel the resident owl of Christchurch Park, sunning in the winter sun ES 9.2.12


PEOPLE have come from far and wide to catch a glimpse of her at Christchurch Park.


And now, Mabel the owl has been immortalised in print following the publication of Portrait of an Owl: My tales of Mabel and other owls.

The book has been illustrated and written by Ipswich author and artist, Reg Snook and charts Mabel’s four years at the park.

Mr Snook said: “It was not a problem writing it – it comes from notes and knowledge I have built up over many years.

“There are all sorts of things that we have found out.

“It is an interesting book and it has been going very well.”

Mabel gained national exposure when pictures of her tucked away in her favourite tree were released.

She has now become a firm favourite with visitors to the park and she has also shown off new additions to her family in recent years.

Richard Wilson, chairman of the Friends of Christchurch Park, said: “She’s hugely popular and people stop and look at her every day.

“She is not only very cute but it is also very rare.”

The book has been published by the Friends of Christchurch Park and Greshams.

It follows hot on the heels of last year’s book by Mr Snook on Christchurch Park – Portrait of a Park – which is now in its third reprint.

The new book also looks at other owls and where you can find them in Suffolk.

It was published last month but has been a popular addition to the book shelves and has been praised by naturalists in the country.

Brett Westwood, presenter of Living World and Nature, said: “I was very touched by the power of this individual bird to fascinate local people and to inspire this beautifully-illustrated exploration into the world of British owls.”

Derwent May, author of Nature Notes, added: “It is not only an interesting and entertaining account of Mabel and her fascinating life, but also a very knowledgeable guide to the other British owls, and especially the owls of Suffolk.”

Portrait of an Owl is available at bookshops and the Reg Driver Centre in Christchurch Park and costs £7.50 – proceeds from the book go towards wildlife projects in the park.

Mr Snook is signing copies of the book at the Ipswich Tourist Information Centre on Saturday between 12-2pm.

Visit for more information about the book and the Friends of Christchurch Park.


1 comment

  • Theres a lot of trees in the park and I would love to see this owl, any clues from anyone which tree Mabel hides in?

    Report this comment

    Victor Meldrew

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