Orchards are so rich in biodiversity, they eclipse most recognised conservation areas. Spend a year in one orchard, and celebrate this imperilled, overlooked abundance of life. As rotting windfall apples and frost lie thick on the ground, and the oldest of fruit trees bend under the weight of mistletoe, the orchard begins a new year. A chattering blanket of starlings descend on the bounty of last year’s fruit, joining bramblings, blackbirds, angry-faced waxwings and intoxicated fieldfares who, drunk on fermented berries, fight one another over their rotting real estate. Even in winter, the orchard is a place of bounty, competition and continuous surprise, most of whose secrets lie hidden deep below the surface.

As the seasons turn, a wealth of animals and plants are revealed: Bumble and solitary bees apartment-hunting in April; spotted … More

With a title taken from the 1940 Batsford book, this is nature writing for the modern reader. Evans weaves historical, cultural & literary references into his writing, ranging from TS Eliot to Bridget Riley, from Hieronymus Bosch to Napoleon. It is a book both for those that live in the country & those that don’t, but experience nature every day through brownfield edge lands, transport corridors, urban greenspace, industrialised agriculture & fragments of ancient countryside.

The essays include the The Weedling Wild, on the wildlife of the wasteland: ragwort, rosebay willowherb, giant hogweed and the … More

Diary of a Young Naturalist chronicles the turning of 15-year-old Dara McAnulty’s world. From spring and through a year in his home patch in Northern Ireland, Dara spent the seasons writing. These vivid, evocative & moving diary entries about his connection to wildlife and the way he sees the world are raw in their telling. “I was diagnosed with Asperger’s/autism aged five … By age seven I knew I was very different, I had got used to the isolation, my inability to break through into the world of talking about football or Minecraft was not tolerated. Then came the bullying…

Nature became so much more than an escape; it became a life-support system.” Diary of a Young Naturalist portrays Dara’s … More

“To see a hare sit still as stone, to watch a hare boxing on a frosty March morning, to witness a hare bolt . . . these are great things. Every field should have a hare.’ The hare, a night creature and country-dweller, is a rare sight for most people. We know them only from legends and stories. They are shape-shifters, witches’ familiars and symbols of fertility.”

But real hares? What are they like? In The Private Life of the Hare, John Lewis-Stempel explores myths, history and … More

The magic and mystery of the woods are embedded in culture, from ancient folklore to modern literature. They offer us refuge: a place to play, a place to think. They are the generous providers of timber and energy. They let us dream of other ways of living. Yet we now face a future where taking a walk in the woods is consigned to the tales we tell our children. Immersing himself in the beauty of woodland Britain, Peter Fiennes explores our long relationship with the woods and the sad and violent story of how so many have been lost. Just as we need them, our woods need us too. But who, if anyone, is looking out for them?

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In this masterpiece of nature writing, Nan Shepherd describes her journeys into the Cairngorm mountains of Scotland. There she encounters a world that can be breathtakingly beautiful at times and shockingly harsh at others. Her intense, poetic prose explores and records the rocks, rivers, creatures and hidden aspects of this remarkable landscape. Shepherd spent a lifetime in search of the ‘essential nature’ of the Cairngorms; her quest led her to write this classic meditation on the magnificence of mountains, and on our imaginative relationship with the wild world around us. Composed during the Second World War, the manuscript of The Living Mountain lay untouched for more than thirty years before it was finally published.

New release available in store and online.

We are living in the anthropocene – an epoch where everything is being determined by the activities of just one soft-skinned, warm-blooded, short-lived, pedestrian species. How do we make our way through the ruins that we have made? This anthology tries to answer this as it explores new and enduring cultural landscapes, in a celebration of local distinctiveness that includes new work from some of our finest writers. We have memories of childhood homes from Adam Thorpe, Marina Warner and Sean O’Brien; we journey with John Burnside to the Arizona desert, with Hugh Brody to the Canadian Arctic; going from Tessa Hadley’s hymn to her London garden to caving in the Mendips with Sean Borodale to shell-collecting on a Suffolk beach with Julia Blackburn.

Helen Macdonald, in her remarkable piece on growing up in a 50-acre walled estate, reflects on our failed stewardship of … More