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

By law of trespass, we are excluded from 92 per cent of the land and 97 per cent of its waterways, blocked by walls whose legitimacy is rarely questioned. But behind them lies a story of enclosure, exploitation and dispossession of public rights whose effects last to this day. The Book of Trespass takes us on a journey over the walls of England, into the thousands of square miles of rivers, woodland, lakes and meadows that are blocked from public access.

By trespassing the land of the media magnates, Lords, politicians and private corporations that own England, Nick Hayes argues that … More

In his forties, Malcolm gave up his job in suburban Glasgow when a persistent seed that had been growing inside him started to bloom, disrupting the foundations of his life. When he saw the job advert, ‘urgent: island doctor needed’, he applied immediately. What he didn’t anticipate was how much Orkney would affect his family, for better or worse. In stories that range from the humorous to the deeply moving, Malcolm describes what it’s like adjusting to life without modern conveniences & to the extreme – & constantly changing – weather; & what it means to be providing the best medical care to the local population with limited resources. Which often includes the wildlife as well …

Malcolm’s journey evokes the awe that the Orkney landscape can inspire, as well as the challenges of island life and … 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

The Garden Jungle is about the wildlife that lives right under our noses, in our gardens & parks, between the gaps in the pavement, & in the soil beneath our feet. Dave Goulson gives us an insight into the fascinating & sometimes weird lives of these creatures, taking us burrowing into the compost heap, digging under the lawn & diving into the garden pond. He explains how our lives & ultimately the fate of humankind are inextricably intertwined with that of earwigs, bees, lacewings & hoverflies, unappreciated heroes of the natural world.

Available now in paperback here.

Down where worms wriggle and microbes squirm, there’s a whole world waiting to be discovered… Under Your Feet delves beneath the Earth’s surface and explores the diverse wonders hidden there. Encounter creatures of the deep and marvel at the mind-boggling size of the humongous fungus – the biggest organism in the world. Learn how one handful of ordinary soil contains more organisms than there are people on Earth, and carry out experiments using dirt from your own back garden.

Under Your Feet offers you the opportunity to expand your knowledge of the natural world and soil-dwelling creatures big and … More

When Bob Gilbert moved to London’s East End, he began to record the natural world of his new inner city patch. Especially the trees: their history, their stories, the trees’ relationship with people. Bob takes a personal journey of exploration through the generations of trees that have helped shape the London district of Poplar, from the original wildwood through to the street trees of today.

Drawing from history and natural history, poetry and painting, myth and magic, he reveals the hidden influences that lost landscapes … More

Look out of your window, walk down a country path or go to the beach in Great Britain, & you are sure to see many wild species that you can take home & eat. From dandelions in spring to sloe berries in autumn, via wild garlic, samphire, chanterelles & even grasshoppers, our countryside is full of edible delights in any season. John Wright is the country’s foremost expert in foraging & brings decades of experience, including as forager at the River Cottage, to this seasonal guide. Month by month, he shows us what species can be found & where, how to identify them, & how to store, use & cook them.

You’ll learn the stories behind the Latin names, the best way to tap a Birch tree, and how to fry … More

Born OTD in 1809, English naturalist, geologist and biologist, best known for his contributions to the science of evolution, Charles Darwin. His proposition that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestors is now widely accepted, and considered a foundational concept in science.

Darwin’s theory of natural selection issued a profound challenge to orthodox thought and belief: no being or species has been … More