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How to See Nature

Paul Evans

Batsford

Format:

ISBN: 9781849945813

Price: £8.99

Publication date: 14 May 2020

ISBN: 9781849944939

Price: £16.99

Publication date: 4 October 2018

ISBN: 9781849945707

ASIN: 9781849945707

Price: £6.99

Publication date: 25 March 2020

Category:

"Pack soup, cheese and a copy of How To See Nature by the Bard of Wenlock Edge and Guardian diarist." John Vidal

With a title taken from the 1940 Batsford book, this is nature writing for the modern reader. Evans weaves historical, cultural and 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 and those that don’t, but experience nature every day through brownfield edge lands, transport corridors, urban greenspace, industrialised agriculture and fragments of ancient countryside. 

The essays include the The Weedling Wild, on the wildlife of the wasteland: ragwort, rosebay willowherb, giant hogweed and the cinnabar moth; Gardens of Light, about the creatures to be found under moonlight: pipistrelle bats, lacewings and orb-weaver spider; The Flow, with tales from the riverbank, estuaries and seas, including kingfisher, minnow, otter and heron. The Commons looks at meadowland with a human footprint, with the Adonis blue butterfly, horseshoe vetch, skylark, black knapweed and the six-belted clearwing moth. The author also looks at the wildlife returned to Britain, such as wild boar and polecats, and finds nature in and around landscapes as varied as a domestic garden or a wild moor.

The book ends with an alphabetical bestiary, an idiosyncratic selection of British wildlife based on the author’s personal encounters.

ABOUT THE Author

Paul Evans is a nature writer, Guardian Country Diarist, poet, broadcaster, journalist and senior lecturer in creative writing at Manchester Metropolitan University. He is the author of Field Notes from the Edge (a journey through Britain’s secrets wilds). He broadcasts regularly for Radio 4 nature programmes.

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REVIEWS

'The ordinary becomes extraordinary in this fascinating book'

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‘By celebrating [the natural world] so beautifully, Evans is playing as important a role in its conservation as anybody.'