Ecological writer Satish Kumar once wrote that ‘if you don’t love Nature, you cannot help her’. So often lots of ‘how-to articles fall on deaf ears, if the listener does not have an innate love of the surrounding natureal world. These books can change that! Ideal rainy day reads, or enjoy them sitting under a tree or in the garden.
We really have issues today with losing a lot of our landscapes. In Buckinghamshire, gorgeous countryside is being destroyed (including England’s second oldest pear tree) to build HS2, a high-speed rail track that will also have airport terminals built along it, so no argument for helping stop climate change. We need slow living (not faster trains). And if built, it will destroy 22,000 wildlife a year, if like the TGV in France. The promise by governments to ‘build, build, build’ in a quest for economic growth is going in the opposite direction on how we need to live: simple lives that are slow and enjoyable, and using wasteland to build zero carbon homes from waste straw bale etc, creating local jobs and not needing to travel hundreds of miles for a business meeting. Learning about the real world (not just ones dreamed up by politics) reminds us why we live zero waste, in the first place.
The Land of the White Horse looks at the history of The White Horse at Uffington on the North Wessex Downs. Was it a memorial to King Alfred the Great, a prehistoric banner or a way to draw the sun across the sky? Discover the landscape that inspired artists, poets and writers.
The Natural World of Winnie-the-Pooh is a beautiful scholar’s guide to the home of the world’s most beloved bear. Kathryn Aalto offers an enchanting book, to visit the ancient black walnut tree on the edge of the forest, that became Pooh’s house. Or visit pine trees to find Poohsticks Bridge, and climb Galleons Lap, where Pooh says goodbye to Christopher Robin.
Hidden Histories explains what all the lumps and bumps are in the fields you have walked or driven past. Or have you walked between two lines of grand trees, and wondered when and why they were planted? This entertaining and education book has the answers. Mary-Ann Ochota points out details for curious spotters. Includes a glossary of what different field names mean.
Native: Life in a Vanishing Landscape takes you north to Patrick Laurie’s family farm in Scotland. This isolated part of the land is now commercial forest, since people of Galloway deserted the land and moors in the last 30 years. The people and cattle are now gone, and the new forests have seen the catastrophic decline of the curlew, a local bird. This book explores the links between cattle, people and wild birds.
Underland by Robert Macfarlane takes us on a journey into the worlds beneath our feet. From the ice-blue depths of Greenland’s glaciers to the underground networks by which trees communicate, this book takes us further afield. From Bronze Age burial chambers to the rock art of remote Arctic sea-caves.