Now out in paperback, ‘Wilding : The Return of Nature to a British Farm’. In Wilding, Isabella Tree tells the story of the `Knepp experiment’, a pioneering rewilding project in West Sussex, using free-roaming grazing animals to create new habitats for wildlife. Part gripping memoir, part fascinating account of the ecology of our countryside, Wilding is, above all, an inspiring story of hope.

Forced to accept that intensive farming on the heavy clay of their land at Knepp was economically unsustainable, Isabella Tree … More

History is full of strange animal stories invented by the brightest and most influential, from Aristotle to Disney. But when it comes to understanding animals, we’ve got a long way to go. Whether we’re watching a viral video of romping baby pandas or looking at a picture of penguins `holding hands’, we often project our own values – innocence, abstinence, hard work – onto animals.

So you’ve probably never considered that moose get drunk and that penguins are notorious cheats. In The Unexpected Truth About … More

The Pond. Nothing in the countryside is more humble or more valuable. It’s the moorhen’s reedy home, the frog’s ancient breeding place, the kill zone of the beautiful dragonfly. More than a hundred rare & threatened fauna & flora depend on it. Written in gorgeous prose, Still Water tells the seasonal story of the wild animals & plants that live in and around the pond, from the mayfly larvae in the mud to the patrolling bats in the night sky above.

It reflects an era before the water was polluted with chemicals and the land built on for housing, a time … More

It is worse, much worse, than you think. The slowness of climate change is a fairy tale, perhaps as pernicious as the one that says it isn’t happening at all, and if your anxiety about it is dominated by fears of sea-level rise, you are barely scratching the surface of what terrors are possible, even within the lifetime of a teenager today. Over the past decades, the term “Anthropocene” has climbed into the popular imagination – a name given to the geologic era we live in now, one defined by human intervention in the life of the planet.

But however sanguine you might be about the proposition that we have ravaged the natural world, which we surely have, … More

In this enchanting book, Tilly Smith leads the reader through the cold and extraordinary natural history of the reindeer. A creature that is often used to adorn the winter season, the reindeer has been domesticated in Eurasia for longer than the horse while in North America it exists side by side with the humans, never tamed yet vital to the native settlements. Despite the popularity of the image of the reindeer, they are rarely seen in real life.

This beautiful, comforting little book, peppered with anecdotes about the author’s own herd, is sure to kindle affection for one … More

The wren is a paradox of a bird. On the one hand wrens are ubiquitous. They are Britain’s most common bird, with 8.5 million breeding pairs & have by far the loudest song in proportion to their size. They also thrive up & down Britain and Ireland: from the smallest city garden to remote offshore islands, blustery moors to chilly mountains. Yet many people, particularly a younger generation, are not sure if they have ever seen a wren. Perhaps because the wren is so tiny, weighing just as much as two A4 sheets of paper, & so busy, always on the move, more mouse than bird.

However if we cast our eyes back to recent history wrens were a mainstay of literary, cultural and popular history. … More

Through a hole in the book’s cover, an owl invites you inside to meet a majestic tree & all its forest inhabitants during the changing seasons. With clever peekaboo holes throughout, each page reveals a new set of animals playing & living in the tree—baby bears frolicking in the spring, bees buzzing around apples in the summer, squirrels storing nuts in the fall, & finally the lone owl keeping warm during the winter chill—until another year begins. . . .

Children will love seeing a new set of animals appear and then disappear as each page is turned, and along … More

Helen Jukes feels trapped in an urban grind of office politics & temporary addresses – disconnected, stressed. Struggling to settle into her latest job & home in Oxford, she realises she needs to effect a change if she’s to create a meaningful life for herself, one that can accommodate comfort, labour & love. Then friends give her the gift of a colony of honeybees – according to folklore, bees freely given bring luck – & Helen embarks on her first full year of beekeeping.

But what does it mean to `keep’ wild creatures? In learning about the bees, what can she learn of herself? … More

We live in a world that prizes the fast over the slow, the new over the familiar and work over rest. Birds Art Life Death is Kyo Maclear’s beautiful journey to stake out a sense of meaning amid the crushing rush. One winter Maclear felt unmoored. Her father had recently fallen ill and she suddenly found herself a little lost. In the midst of this crisis, she met a musician who loved birds. When he watched birds and began to photograph them, his worries dissipated.

Curious, she began to accompany him on his urban birdwatching expeditions and witnessed the magic of a transient city. Birds … More

The oak is the wooden tie between heaven and earth. It is the lynch pin of the British landscape. The oak is our most beloved and most common tree. It has roots that stretch back to all the old European cultures but Britain has more ancient oaks than all the other European countries put together.

More than half the ancient oaks in the world are in Britain. Many of our ancestors – the Angles, the … More