The Living Jigsaw
The Secret Life in Your Garden
As Chris Packham writes in his foreword, gardening need not be a battle for dominance over nature. Val Bourne recounts her own conversion to natural gardening and explains how, by choosing the right plants and allowing natural predators to deal with pests, rather than reaching for chemicals, we can create gardens that are both beautiful and animal friendly. The final chapter suggests 100 plants for an eco-friendly garden that supports and complements its unseen wildlife.
Birdhouses of the World
Chosen for their remarkable display of creativity, the forty birdhouses in this illustrated collection include traditional, wooden designs placed in unusual formations, sleek models made from modern materials, and ornate, fantastical designs featuring heavily carved wood and stained glass windows. While not necessarily functional, each one is a talking point and design feature.
Extraordinary Edens from Around the World
Throughout history, monarchs around the world have created magnificent gardens both for relaxation and to advertise their wealth and power. Illustrated with 150 colour photographs, this book explores 20 of the finest, including Louis XIV’s Versailles, Frederick the Great’s Sanssouci, the royal palaces of Fez and Edo Castle in Tokyo. Each entry charts the history of the garden, profiles its creators, describes its style, planning and principles, and includes interviews with the present owners.
The Bauer Brothers
Images of Nature
Franz and Ferdinand Bauer were ground-breaking 18th- and early 19th-century natural history artists. Growing up in Austria, Franz went on to work at Kew Gardens, while Ferdinand travelled to Australia. This volume includes pioneering microscopical drawings depicting plant anatomy, and newly discovered animals, such as the platypus and koala.
The Art of the First Fleet
Images of Nature
With no official naturalist travelling with the First Fleet, landscape artist turned convict, Thomas Watling, produced many of the watercolours and drawings in this collection. Depicting alien landscapes, flora and fauna and the undeveloped Sydney Cove, these images offer a detailed insight into the lifestyle of the indigenous population.
Stories and Poems
Jerome K Jerome’s account of Montmorency’s appalling behaviour; the coming of the Pekinese to England; a heartfelt epitaph to a Newfoundland dog by Lord Byron: Mark Bryant’s anthology is an engrossing collection of poetry and prose, arranged by themes including clever dogs, the hounds of hell, and in memoriam.
The Age of the Horse
An Equine Journey Through Human History
Susanna Forrest’s ‘equine journey’ comprises several different itineraries, guiding the reader through the various ways in which humankind has used the horse. In each chapter she sets out from a site visited quite recently – among them a Mongolian steppe, a manège in Versailles, an American sale barn, a polo field outside Beijing and a Portuguese bullring – to explore how the horse has been ridden, harnessed, eaten, kept as a pet, raced for sport or sent to war.
Starting out in Eventing
An Introduction to Having Fun Cross-Country
In this illustrated manual, an experienced trainer, judge and course designer describes the key considerations for both horse and rider when tackling the cross-country component of eventing, including advice on schooling schedules and approaching specific obstacles.
As a child Portia Simpson was happiest outside – hunting birds’ nests, fishing in the river or racing pet snails – and in 2003 she became the first woman in Scotland to qualify as a gamekeeper and wildlife manager. In this memoir, she describes her entry into a profession traditionally dominated by men, gives an insight into the humour and camaraderie of the world of gamekeeping, and conveys the beauty of the Hebridean landscape in which she worked.
A Summer of British Wildlife
100 Great Days Out Watching Wildlife
From hearing the dawn chorus to lying in a meadow of orchids or spotting migratory birds and butterflies, this Bradt guide details 100 experiences – one for each day of the season – that epitomize summer for nature lovers. Each entry includes a grid reference, practical information on transport, accessibility and child-friendliness, and advice on how to extend your trip to a weekend.
Health and Welfare
Written by the veterinary surgeon and Shooting Times canine expert Tony Buckwell, this illustrated guide is suitable for both the novice and the experienced gundog owner. It looks at issues such as choosing a breeder and acquiring a healthy puppy with the right temperament, and also offers health advice, including recognizing and dealing with illnesses, reducing the risks of injury and disease, emergency first aid and senior care.
The Marine Life of Seychelles
Created by two photographers, one a Seychelles resident and conservationist, the other an award-winning specialist in underwater photography, this book records the vibrant marine life of the Seychelles’ coral reefs, granite seascapes, mangroves and seagrass beds. As well as the islands’ ecosystems, turtles, fishes and invertebrates, the authors include chapters on their status as Marine Protected Areas; conservation issues and the challenge of protecting this ‘underwater Eden’; and technical notes on the photography.
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rocks
Minerals and Gemstones
This volume is a comprehensive introduction to the study of rocks and minerals, with chapters devoted to understanding their formation, types and properties preceding the main directories. Each entry contains a full description, notes on identification, one or more photographs and an information box with geological data – grain size, texture, structure etc for rocks, and crystal system, colour etc for minerals. Altogether the encyclopedia describes around 300 specimens, shown in over 800 photographs.
The Art of Returning to Nature
Mixing memoir and practical advice, this book shows how to reconnect with the sights, sounds and smells of the wild. Challenging the idea that this can only happen in the countryside, it argues that nature benefits mental and physical health even in an urban environment.
The Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney
A celebratory anthology of plants and flowers, this Florilegium was created by today’s botanical artists to mark the 200th anniversary of the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney. Australia’s extraordinary flora has beguiled botanists and plant collectors since Sir Joseph Banks, who arrived in Sydney Cove in 1770, and each of the 85 plants depicted in this volume is accompanied by notes on its history, including early admirers among plant hunters, as well as a botanical description.
The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Dogs
Breeds & Care
Illustrated with more than 700 colour photographs, this comprehensive guide begins with advice on choosing a dog. It goes on to offer practical information on how to look after it, including tips on grooming, training, breeding and whelping, as well as general health and essential first aid. The third section comprises a visual reference section covering 180 breeds from all over the world, arranged by group.
Spying on Whales
The Past, Present and Future of the World's Largest Animals
Whales are among the largest, most intelligent and deepest-diving species to have lived on our planet. Despite humans having both revered and hunted them throughout history, there are still many scientific mysteries associated with them. Palaeontologist Nick Pyenson focuses on what we can learn about their evolutionary history from fossil records and travels the world to explore their current plight and prospects of future survival.
The Birds of CITES
And How to Identify Them
This comprehensive reference handbook was produced for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, to describe the birds of the world threatened with depletion or extinction. The large, beautifully drawn illustrations capture in exquisite detail many hundreds of species, and for each one there is information on its physical characteristics and its range. All technical terms are clearly explained, and there is a helpful guide to bird families.
A Dog Called Dez
The True Story of How One Amazing Dog Changed His Owner's Life
John Tovey's story is one of delinquency during a tough childhood in Bristol, followed by episodes of violence, alcoholism and a spell in prison. Redemption for him came following the greatest catastrophe of his life when he went blind at the age of 42. This memoir recounts how a self-confessed 'bad lad' came to view life from a completely new perspective thanks to his partnership with his guide dog, Dez.
A Visual Guide to the Animal Kingdom
Beginning with cells – ‘the smallest units of independent existence’ – and covering all animal life, from simple sponges to the great apes (gorillas, chimpanzees and orang-utans), this carefully designed, large-format guide is arranged by scientific classification in a way that illuminates the place of each family and species within the animal kingdom. The deeply informative and very accessible text is accompanied by over 350 colour photographs taken in the animals’ natural habitats by leading wildlife photographers.
Katie Jerram's Modern Horse Management
With advice on stables and shelters, grooming and bodywork, general handling and leading, this illustrated manual outlines ways of improving horse management skills for show horses, racehorses and eventers by rethinking habitual practices and applying new techniques to traditional training principles. Off-mint.
An Illustrated Miscellany
An Abyssinian cat, ‘the goddess Bastet in person’; Sylvester; a cat bounding away from Gabriel in Lorenzo Lotto’s Annunciation (1527); Raymond Chandler with his black cat; paintings by Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen... Frédéric Vitoux’s book is a beguiling cabinet of curiosities for the literary and artistically inclined cat-lover: he reflects on different breeds; books and films in which cats play essential roles; writers’ cats; works of art; and a true miscellany of topics including Zen, the Chat Noir and the cats of Venice.
The Wood for the Trees
One Man's Long View of Nature
In 2011, the scientist Richard Fortey bought four acres of beech woodland in the Oxfordshire Chilterns. His month-by-month account of a year in the woods begins with the appearance of bluebells in April and ends as nature springs back to life in March. In between, he recounts tree-felling in January, moth-hunting in June, explains the complex network of plant and animal life that sustains the wood, and offers recipes for wild mushrooms and other delicacies foraged from the undergrowth. American-cut pages.
A Century On
Between 1899 and 1911, EH Wilson (1876–1930), the foremost plant hunter of his generation, travelled extensively in China. Initially searching for the dove tree, Davidia involucrata, he eventually collected and introduced many hundreds of plants into western gardens and arboreta. A century after Wilson, Flanagan and Kirkham, two modern-day plant hunters, retraced his routes to the high passes and exotic species of western China, often matching Wilson’s photographs of remarkable trees and landscapes with their own then-and-now images.
Wild Flowers of Britain and Europe
This practical and easy-to-use guide describes more than 250 species with details of characteristics, range and habitats, botanical illustrations and photographs, notes on similar species and tips for field work. It is introduced by Tony Soper and includes general notes on plant families and a glossary of botanical terms. A plastic jacket makes it suitable for use in the great outdoors.
The End of the End of the Earth
Beginning with reflections on the role of the essay in today’s ‘dark times’, this collection of frank, ironic pieces focuses on Franzen’s great loves – literature, which ‘invites you to ask whether you might be somewhat wrong’, and birds, from East African warblers to Antarctic penguins.
A Natural History
Far from being ‘bird brains’, chickens demonstrate a range of unique abilities that have made them an integral part of humans’ lives for thousands of years. This science-based exploration compiles the characteristics of forty popular breeds and explains how their anatomy and physiology inform their behaviour. It also presents insights into their intelligence and thought processes and includes practical ‘theory into practice’ panels designed to help keepers better understand their poultry. Off-mint.
Training for a Supple Horse
Written by the noted dressage trainer Johannes Beck-Broichsitter and illustrated with colour photographs, this step-by-step guide to lateral work outlines training, stretching and loosening regimens designed to improve a horse’s suppleness and keep him moving freely. Slightly off-mint.
The London Bird Atlas
Within a 20-mile radius of St Paul’s – the area covered by the London Natural History Society – no less than 370 species of birds have been observed. This atlas profiles 200 of the most common, from mute swans to blue tits, tawny owls to house sparrows. Each entry is illustrated with colour photographs and a map showing distribution. The text also describes the capital’s varied habitats, such as parks, gardens, brownfield sites, woodland and wetlands, and includes a gazetteer of sites.
The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Cats, Breeds and Care
Part One of this comprehensive visual guide to domestic cats opens with a brief history of the feline. It goes on to offer the latest veterinary-approved advice on subjects including choosing a kitten, feeding and nutrition, and essential health care. Part Two is a photographic encyclopaedia of the different breeds, comprising information on the coat, eyes, grooming needs and temperament of each, plus tips on breeding and showing.
The Inner Life of Cats
The Science and Secrets of Our Mysterious Feline Companions
Though they have lived alongside us for millennia, cats remain inscrutable. This guide to feline nature and neuroses draws on the latest scientific research to decode their often-puzzling behaviour, and explain how we can better understand their thoughts, their actions, and what they are trying to communicate. Cutting-edge science is interwoven with the author’s account of how a black kitten named Augusta found her way into his heart. Off-mint.
A Dog's Life
A Celebration of Our Best Friend
‘What are the three words that best describe your dog?’ was the question that the award-winning artist Hannah Dale asked 6,000 canine owners, and it is their responses that inform this celebration of the pet. Each of her paintings is accompanied by a description of the traits and characteristics that typify the 50 breeds featured, from the loyal Labrador to the impulsive Irish Setter.
The Fight for Beauty
Our Path to a Better Future
In an age when public policy gives precedence to economic arguments, the word ‘beauty’ is now rarely found in official documents. But Reynolds, former Director-General of the National Trust, shows that this was not always the case. Looking back at successful campaigns for heritage and nature conservation, she issues a new and urgent call to arms: ‘If we care about our future, we need to fight for beauty.’
Dispatches from Earth's Most Vital Frontlines
Drawing on decades of campaigning and first-hand experiences, this illustrated book explains the importance of rainforests and how their decline must be managed in the face of the demands of a growing population and the drive for economic development. Spanning the Americas, Africa and Asia, it examines threats including logging and cattle-ranching and uses scientific evidence and local knowledge to set out the measures needed to save what remains of these vital ecosystems.
In close-up photographs of flowers and their pollinators, the wildlife photographer Heather Angel reveals the key floral parts which aid reproduction and shows precisely how and where pollen is transferred to particular visitors. Taken in Kew Gardens, her own garden in Surrey and 20 different countries, the photographs include studies of wind pollination as well as bees, blister beetles and butterflies, a honey possum and many different birds, all captured in the act of pollinating. Slightly off-mint.
Magnolias in Art and Cultivation
First brought to Britain from North America in 1687, the magnolia is considered to be one of our most beautiful ornamental trees. This volume presents over 150 large-scale and finely detailed paintings of the flowers by award-winning botanical artist Barbara Oozeerally. Each illustration is accompanied by authoritative information about their cultivation, and full botanical descriptions, covering all hardy species and around 100 hybrids.
The British Oak
Visiting trees with names like ‘The Monarch’ and ‘Old Knobbley’, Archie Miles’s richly illustrated book combines profiles of 50 famous old oaks with an overview of the oak tree in British culture, society and economy. There are chapters on the history of the oak, its place in myth and folklore, art and literature, and its vital role in building and ship-building, but also in many smaller industries, from tanning and pannage (pigs foraging for acorns) to charcoal burning and fish smoking.
Flora of the Cayman Islands
In just 260 square kilometres the Caymans support 415 species of native plants, 29 of them unique to the islands. Illustrated with 250 drawings and 400 colour photographs, this thoroughly revised handbook describes these species and the geography and botanical history of the archipelago.
Nick Baker's British Wildlife
A Month-by-Month Guide
For wildlife enthusiasts, birdwatchers and weekend walkers of all ages, television presenter Nick Baker explains what is happening in nature throughout the course of the year, from the Dorset heaths to the Scottish Highlands. Illustrated with colour photographs and artwork to aid identification of species, this guide explains which mammals, birds, insects and plants will appear each month, and offers practical advice on how and where to find them.
Secret Nature of Devon
Devon is a large county with a climate ranging from the subtropical to the subarctic across the diverse habitats of high moorland, woodland, pasture, estuary and seashore. This comprehensive introduction and identification guide to the nature and wildlife of Devon provides details of its bird, animal and plant life, and offers information about key wildlife locations and nature reserves in the county.
A Naturalist's Guide to the Primates of Southeast Asia
East Asia and the Indian Sub-continent
Non-human primates in Southeast Asia are under threat, and this field guide lists 120 species with photographs, physical descriptions, ranges, unusual characteristics and tips for conservation-minded beginners searching for primates in the region.
The Physics of Animal Life
An intriguing and amusing insight into the animal world, this Popular Science title explains how 30 species have evolved to exploit the laws of physics, from how wet dogs shake themselves dry to how peacocks generate inaudible (to the human ear) sounds to attract a mate.
An Anthology of Stories and Poems
‘Cat: a pygmy lion who loves mice, hates dogs and patronizes human beings’, wrote Oliver Herford (1863–1935); but far from taking offence, we have sung the praises of cats in poetry and prose since the Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead asked, ‘Who is this Cat?’ This anthology is arranged by theme, from the ‘Fireside Phoenix’ to ‘Requiescat’, and includes writers and poets from Aesop to Jerome K Jerome – and many famous literary cats.
The Lifeguard Dog
For five years, 14-stone chocolate Newfoundland Bilbo worked alongside his owner Steve Jamieson as the UK’s only trained lifeguard dog, during which time he saved three lives. Steve reflects on the special bond he had with his remarkable pet, shares stories from their time working together on Cornwall’s Sennen Beach and explains what happened when bureaucracy threatened their way of life.
A History of Britain in 100 Dogs
Showing how our canine companions have shared our history, Emma White’s dogs range from the indigenous fighting and hunting dogs of Roman Britain to 2003 and the native breeds now vulnerable to extinction. The illustrated history covers legendary dogs, famous individuals such as Greyfriars Bobby, Lassie and Charles Darwin’s Polly; topics including dog carts, heraldry and the RSPCA; and dogs of the same breed or function, such as bloodhounds, collies, regimental mascots, and heroes – the Dickin award-winners. Slightly off-mint.
More Fun with Clicker Training
How Communication and Signing Can Improve Learning with Your Dog
Clicker training uses incentives to improve the initiative and overall behaviour of a dog. This guide outlines the basic premise of the method and advises on training for a variety of scenarios, such as pulling on the lead.
Trust Instead of Dominance
Working Towards a New Form of Ethical Horsemanship
Written from a behavioural science perspective, and covering a range of topics from herd behaviour to the concept of hierarchy, this illustrated guide to horsemanship explains how to foster a more holistic relationship between human and steed. Slightly off-mint.
What a Fish Knows
The Inner Lives of Our Underwater Cousins
Do goldfish really have a three-second memory? How does an archerfish hone its hunting skills? Can fish recognize human faces, appreciate music or feel pain? By presenting the fascinating findings of scientific research into their cognitive and sensory worlds, their sex lives and social structures, Balcombe prompts us to reconsider the intellectual abilities of our aquatic cousins so that we can more easily feel compassion towards them.
A Quiet Word with Your Horse
Learning by Reward - The Key to Motivation and Trust
Based on the concept of positive reinforcement, the clicker training system outlined in this handbook by behavioural biologist and equine specialist Marlitt Wendt explains communication methods that can be modified to suit the individual horse’s character.
Field Guide to the Plants of Northern Botswana Including the Okavango Delta
Useful in Countries and Geographical Areas Adjacent to Northern Botswana in the Zambesi Basin
With over 2,400 photographs of plants in the bush, this concise modern handbook describes around 530 flowering herbs, trees, shrubs, ferns, grasses and sedges, and includes information on traditional uses and beliefs for each species. The guide is carefully written to be useful to a wide range of professionals and tourists, including non-botanists and people whose first language is not English.
A Cultural History
Jim Endersby explores ‘the curious and unexpected variety of significances that people have ascribed to orchids’ in western cultures, from Theophrastus’ herbals in ancient Greece to Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep, deadly species in science-fiction and ongoing research into Spider Orchids on the South Downs. The book looks at our relationship with orchids in terms of science, sex and death, and examines the theme of empire, describing how European imperial expansion and wealth stimulated the search for ever rarer orchids.
Where to See Wildlife in Britain and Ireland
Over 800 Best Wildlife Sites in the British Isles
The 10,000 acres of saltmarsh and 65,000 acres of tidal sandbanks and mudflats around the Wash on the east coast are a haven for wildlife, with about 500,000 wildfowl wintering there and common seals breeding there in summer, when the saltmarsh is abundant with wildflowers. This practical guide focuses on 800 wildlife-rich locations in the UK and advises on what to see, when to visit and how to get there, with detailed mapping and over 500 photographs.
Field Guide to the Birds of Britain and Ireland
Written by birdwatching expert Mark Golley and with more than 1,000 full-colour illustrations by leading bird artist David Daly, this compact guide is arranged in taxonomic species order. It includes identification tips, details of habitat and describes calls for over 280 species of birds, both those seen regularly in Britain and Ireland and some of the less common migrants.
Heather Angel's Wild Kew
The trees, lawns and open water at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew attract a diverse range of wildlife all year round. Arranged by season, the photographs in this book capture winter wildfowl, spring flowers, the butterflies of summer, and autumn fungi. The text explains their habits and lifecycles, each entry offers tips for photographers, and a map shows the best spots to take wildlife pictures.
Amphibians and Reptiles
Although they are distinct animal classes, reptiles and amphibians are often considered together, not least in Britain because there are fewer species than in any other vertebrate group. This illustrated guide to the native and non-native species found in the British Isles introduces their biology and behaviour and suggests areas of study where further research is needed, explaining how carrying out such projects is readily accessible to the amateur naturalist. Foreword by Chris Packham.
Ways to Stimulate Your Dog's Brain and Avoid Boredom
In this illustrated handbook the canine psychologist Anders Hallgren outlines a series of simple physical and mental exercises that are designed to stimulate the senses and challenge the intelligence of our four-legged friends. Slightly off-mint.
Ride with Your Mind Clinic
Rider Biomechanics – Basics to Brilliance
Following the proven success of her first Ride with Your Mind guide, Mary Wanless tackles a series of faults or problems, each demonstrated by a different rider, some with relatively basic experience, others advanced dressage riders.
Budget Horse and Pony Care
Cost Effective Horse Management
Aimed at helping horse owners and riders cut down on costs, this practical guide demonstrates eco-friendly ways of making products and equipment and economizing on stable practices, from making shampoo, horse rugs and boot-racks to treating brittle feet.
A Vision of Countryside
From high moorland to shingled coast, the nature blogger Jan Wiltshire explores the landscape and wildlife of her home county. Detailed photographs capture rugged fells and wind-blasted trees, rare orchids, redstarts and skylarks, a cuckoo on Scout Scar, and the scarce natterjack toad in the Duddon Estuary, while the accompanying text inspires us to engage with, value and preserve the natural world.
A Season in the Wilderness
This classic of American nature writing records the author’s time as a ranger in the canyons of Utah. A rallying-cry for the protection of wilderness, it describes the stark beauty of the landscape: its terracotta earth, arching rock formations, wild horses and Pueblo Indian petroglyphs. First published half a century ago, this new edition includes an introduction by the writer and wildlife campaigner Robert Macfarlane.
Champion Trees of Britain and Ireland
The Tree Register Handbook
Illustrated with more than 200 colour photographs, this book profiles every type of tree, native or introduced, growing in the British Isles. The first section lists all the species by their botanical names, with their origins and characteristics, while the second is a guide to visiting the finest specimens throughout Britain and Ireland, by region and county.
Culinary Herbs and Spices of the World
The botanist Ben-Erik van Wyk presents a fully illustrated, scientific guide to nearly all the commercial herbs and spices in use today. After chapters on the history of spices and culinary traditions and lists of common names, the A to Z covers over 150 species, from Aframomum corrorima (Ethiopian cardamom) to Zingiber officinale (ginger), each illustrated entry giving details of the spice or herb, the plant, its origins, cultivation and culinary use and the chemistry of its flavour.
International Garden Photographer of the Year
A portfolio of the best images in the annual photographic competition, this volume presents the 2013 entries. Categories include 'Wildflower Landscapes', 'Greening the City' and 'Trees, Woods and Forests', and the images display a range of responses to flowers, plants and gardens all over the world, from a view of allotments in Warsaw and a French formal garden at sunrise, to studies of leaves, and water lilies in the New York Botanical Garden.
Green Guide to Butterflies Of Britain and Europe
This pocket handbook offers concise descriptions of the appearance, classification, life-cycle, habitats and distribution of butterflies commonly found in Britain and Europe. Each title covers 150 species with precise drawings to aid identification and an image gallery of colour photographs, plus a general introduction to butterfly and caterpillar anatomy, practical tips for when and where to see them, and information on breeding and conservation issues.
Green Guide to Garden Wildlife of Britain and Europe
Each Green Guide offers concise descriptions of the appearance, classification, life-cycle, habitats and distribution of 150 plant or animal species commonly found in Britain and Europe. This handbook covers the birds, mammals, insects and other invertebrates that find refuge in our gardens, with precise drawings to aid identification of each species and an image gallery of colour photographs, plus practical tips on how best to observe these creatures and how to create a wildlife-friendly habitat for them.
Campbell's Weather Compendium
How big was the largest-known snowflake? What is the speed of a falling raindrop? How many people survive being struck by lightning? And where is the windiest place on the planet? This miscellany of meteorological trivia is interspersed with weather-related jokes, literary quotations and seasonal recipes – in short, a deluge of material to use next time you find yourself conversing about the British climate.
A Microscopic Voyage into the Plant Cell
The eminent botanist Stephen Blackmore tells the story of plant life on Earth, from the origin of the first cell more than three billion years ago to the present, and traces our quest to understand these structures, from the invention of the microscope to modern scanning electron microscopes. Illustrated with images made possible by advanced microscopy, the book explores the world of plant cells and explains how, through photosynthesis, they create the energy on which all life on Earth depends.
The Seventy Great Mysteries of the Natural World
From 'How did the Earth form?' to 'Human behaviour and saving the planet', the 70 chapters in this colourful survey of natural history draw on the expertise of more than 60 scientists to give concise, lucid explanations of concepts and phenomena as diverse as selfish-gene theory, the eye, asteroid and comet impacts and flu pandemics. The book is arranged in sections on origins, the Earth, evolution, biogeography and environments, plants and animals, animal behaviour and global warming and the future.
A History of the Natural History Museum
This short history, co-authored by two of the Natural History Museum’s former specialists, explores the museum and its origins in the founding collections of the British Museum, and follows its evolution and burgeoning acquisitions from Montagu House in Bloomsbury to its current home in South Kensington. Featuring archival artworks, illustrations and diagrams, the book also highlights key exhibitions and permanent exhibits, as well as the museum’s prominent role in education and research.
As we lose touch with nature, writes Robert Macfarlane, we forget the words that describe it. This book seeks to reclaim that language, using the work of nature writers such as Nan Shepherd, JA Baker and Barry Lopez, alongside resources such as the ‘peat glossary’ compiled by Lewis islanders. Between each chapter is a list of words relating to a particular landscape – uplands, coastlands, woodlands – from all parts of the British Isles.
A Practical Guide for Owners and Breeders
Strongheart and Rin Tin Tin, both taken from Germany to America after the First World War, were among the earliest animal movie stars and popularized German Shepherds internationally. The breed has since proved an excellent guard and scent-follower and is widely used as a working dog as well as kept as a pet. This comprehensive manual provides information on training, diet and exercise as well as guidance on showing, breeding and breed-specific ailments and diseases.
A Rum Affair
A True Story of Botanical Fraud
In 1954, Professor John Heslop Harrison published his discovery of several plants on the island of Rum that were found nowhere else in Britain – they had, he claimed, survived the Ice Age. John Raven, a gifted amateur botanist, went to investigate and revealed Harrison’s claim as untrue, but academic botanists closed ranks and Raven’s report was never published. Karl Sabbagh tells the story of the two men and this strange episode of botanical fraud.
An Abominable History
Graham Hoyland, who once found and filmed yeti footprints in Bhutan, investigates our enduring fascination with the ancient legend of this large primate unknown to science. He considers possible explanations for yeti sightings but also delves deeper into the strange world of ‘cryptids’ to ask why we want to believe in the existence of mythical beasts – and what our ‘post-truth’ world can learn from those reports that have been revealed as hoaxes.
First published in 1951, this literary classic is TH White’s diary of his attempt to train a wild goshawk. As an animal lover he had dreamed of mastering falconry, but he had no experience. The memoir records a psychologically complex battle of wills, in which White tried and failed to tame a free spirit, mirroring his own struggle to fit in to a confusing world. Foreword by Helen Macdonald, author of the award-winning H is for Hawk.
Waiting for the Albino Dunnock
How Birds Can Change Your Life
Despite having written many books about the countryside, including the bestselling Country Wisdom, Rosamond Richardson only picked up a pair of binoculars and started birdwatching in her sixties. In a series of lyrical prose poems, this book charts her growing engagement with the world of birds over a single year, and the joy and serenity it brought. The result is a precisely observed exploration of the importance of nature to one’s mental and emotional wellbeing.
The Art of Ornithology
This chronological account charts the development of bird art from early decorative images to scientifically accurate modern portrayals, focusing mainly on the period between 1650 and the present day. Presenting an extensive selection of original artwork from the collections of the Natural History Museum, Jonathan Elphick interweaves ornithological information with brief biographies of the artists, descriptions of the techniques they used and a critical appraisal of their work, encouraging a deeper appreciation of bird art and the riches of avian life.
Why Birds Sing
A Journey into the Mystery of Birdsong
David Rothenberg is a professor of philosophy, a composer and a jazz clarinettist. In this ‘attempt to answer the beguiling question of why birds sing’ he blends the latest scientific research with a deep understanding of musical aesthetics and form.
With scarecrow-making now a popular folk art, the ragged guardians of the fields seem to be making a comeback; variously strange, menacing and endearing, their place in art and literature is testament to their beguiling nature and their hold on the imagination. Gregory Holyoake presents a beautifully illustrated account of the history and origins of the scarecrow, both out in the fields and in all forms of popular and literary culture, from Shakespeare and Dickens to Beatrix Potter and Hitchcock.
Wild Flowers of the Mediterranean
This authoritative pocket guide identifies 530 of the most widespread and eye-catching flowering plants growing around the Mediterranean. The key is divided by flower colour, number of petals, and plants with inconspicuous flowers like trees and ferns. Illustrated with large-format colour photos, each entry includes common and scientific names, and describes plant uses, habitats and similar species.
Earth is a desert planet. Nearly half its land area is either cold or hot desert, but these areas are rarely seen by residents of the outside world. Documentary photographer Michael Martin has ridden his motorbike across the Sahara and Atacama deserts, and traversed the ice-fields of Greenland and Spitsbergen by dog sledge. This volume charts his travels through more than 400 photographs, gripping reportage, scientifically exact maps and environmental analysis from contributing experts.
The Travelling Vet
From Pets to Pandas: My Life with Animals
Jonathan Cranston treats cows, dogs, pigs and cats at his Cotswolds veterinary practice, but he has also had a remarkable career working around the world with species including crocodiles, rhinos and pandas, and as an advisor on the Jurassic World franchise. In this anecdotal collection he shares some of his more peculiar and poignant experiences, which include microchipping armadillos, anaesthetising giraffes, birthing calves, castrating a sugar glider and encountering victims of rhino poaching.
A Visual Guide
Beginning with chapters explaining how ‘the weather engine’ works and the role of water, this guide uses diagrams, photographs and satellite imagery, along with concise and informative text, to cover all aspects of weather and climate, including extreme phenomena such as lightning, ice storms and tornadoes, and ending with chapters on global climate and changing climate from the age of the dinosaurs to the threats of ozone depletion and global warming. Slightly off-mint.
Wildlife of the Arctic
Collins Traveller's Guide
This illustrated guide begins by outlining the geology and climate of the Arctic, and the effects of global warming on the region. The listings that follow offer descriptions of each family of birds and mammals, in addition to fish, insects, plants and lichens; and the individual entries include information about appearance, behaviour patterns, threats to survival, and breeding and wintering grounds.
How to Read Water
Clues & Patterns from Puddles to the Sea
The ripple pattern around a stone in a pond exactly mirrors the pattern around an island in the ocean. Pacific Islanders can navigate using such ‘ripple maps’. In this guide to understanding the behaviour of water, Tristan Gooley explains how ripples and currents, colour and light, tides and the abundance of organic life can help us divine what is happening on, around and to different bodies of water.
Wonders of the Atmosphere from Dust Storms to Lightning Strikes
Selecting the most visually striking and unusual examples from around the world, this Met Office collection includes both satellite imagery and ground-based photography to show strange effects such as blood-red mammatus clouds in a post-cyclonic sunset; the concentric rings of a ‘glory’ on Golden Gate Bridge; horizontal lightning; or the awesome clouds of supercell thunder storms. Slightly off-mint.
From the familiar Great Auk to obscure island finches, this exhaustive listing describes all bird species known to have disappeared in the last 700 years and now represented by museum specimens and credible accounts and illustration. Each entry includes details of status, range and location of specimens, followed by a description and history, with quotations from written accounts. There is also a listing of ‘hypothetical birds’, known by very few specimens and unverified accounts, and appendices dealing with doubtful and deficient taxa.
The Birds of Shetland
The most northerly island group in Britain, Shetland is famous for its globally significant populations of breeding seabirds, including such rarities as red-necked phalarope, great snipe and lanceolated warbler. This authoritative, comprehensive guide provides an overview of the climate and ecology of the archipelago, followed by a survey of every species recorded there. With 40 pages of colour photographs and many line drawings throughout the text, it is an essential handbook for any ornithologist with an interest in the islands.
How Britain Has Been Forged by the Wind
The menacing low-pressure system (dubbed Low Z by the meteorological community), gale-force winds and resulting storm surge of 31 January 1953 took 307 lives around the coast of Britain, inundating Canvey Island and its 10,000 inhabitants and sinking the Princess Victoria car ferry off Stranraer, along with 105 passengers. Beattie’s account draws on meteorology, literature and social history to describe how the wind, with its storms and prevailing breezes, has affected Britain’s landscapes and people.
of Popular Garden Flowers
The Victorians were passionate about flowers, both in their gardens and in art, and the period saw some of the most superb botanical journals ever published. This volume reproduces hand-coloured lithographs from one of the finest from the 1860s, The Floral Magazine, a collaboration between the botanical illustrator James Andrews and the Rev HH Dombrain. Each of the 95 plants is shown in a full-page reproduction, with Dombrain's text revealing the preoccupations, joys and setbacks of Victorian flower growers.
The English Meadow
A Portrait of Country Life
Modern farming almost eliminated meadows from our countryside but these ‘beautiful, therapeutic reservoirs of a unique eco-system’ are now gradually returning. Drawing on the author’s experience of creating and managing a flower meadow, this book surveys different meadow types and the tools, crafts, buildings and wildlife associated with them; it also shows how churchyards, rooftops and roadside verges are helping the resurgence of wild grasses and flowers. Appendices list notable English meadows, rural museums and conservation organizations. Slightly off-mint.