The Running Hare

The Secret Life of Farmland

Author: John Lewis-Stempel

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1473525837

Category: Nature

Page: 304

View: 4023

DOWNLOAD NOW »

The Sunday Times Bestseller - SHORTLISTED FOR THE WAINWRIGHT PRIZE 2017 Traditional ploughland is disappearing. Seven cornfield flowers have become extinct in the last twenty years. Once abundant, the corn bunting and the lapwing are on the Red List. The corncrake is all but extinct in England. And the hare is running for its life. Written in exquisite prose, The Running Hare tells the story of the wild animals and plants that live in and under our ploughland, from the labouring microbes to the patrolling kestrel above the corn, from the linnet pecking at seeds to the seven-spot ladybird that eats the aphids that eat the crop. It recalls an era before open-roofed factories and silent, empty fields, recording the ongoing destruction of the unique, fragile, glorious ploughland that exists just down the village lane. But it is also the story of ploughland through the eyes of man who took on a field and husbanded it in a natural, traditional way, restoring its fertility and wildlife, bringing back the old farmland flowers and animals. John Lewis Stempel demonstrates that it is still possible to create a place where the hare can rest safe. Shortlisted for the Richard Jefferies Society White Horse Bookshop Prize 2016. John Lewis-Stempel was winner of the Thwaites Wainwright Prize 2015 for MEADOWLAND.
Release

The Secret Life of the Owl

Author: John Lewis-Stempel

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1473542510

Category: Nature

Page: 96

View: 6516

DOWNLOAD NOW »

‘Dusk is filling the valley. It is the time of the gloaming, the owl-light. Out in the wood, the resident tawny has started calling, Hoo-hoo-hoo-h-o-o-o.’ There is something about owls. They feature in every major culture from the Stone Age onwards. They are creatures of the night, and thus of magic. They are the birds of ill-tidings, the avian messengers from the Other Side. But owls – with the sapient flatness of their faces, their big, round eyes, their paternal expressions – are also reassuringly familiar. We see them as wise, like Athena’s owl, and loyal, like Harry Potter's Hedwig. Human-like, in other words. No other species has so captivated us. In The Secret Life of the Owl, John Lewis-Stempel explores the legends and history of the owl. And in vivid, lyrical prose, he celebrates all the realities of this magnificent creature, whose natural powers are as fantastic as any myth. 'John Lewis-Stempel is one of the best nature writers of his generation' Country Life
Release

The Private Life of the Hare

Author: John Lewis-Stempel

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1473542502

Category: Nature

Page: 112

View: 7154

DOWNLOAD NOW »

____________ ‘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. They are arrogant, as in Aesop’s The Hare and the Tortoise, and absurd, as in Lewis Carroll’s Mad March Hare. In the absence of observed facts, speculation and fantasy have flourished. But real hares? What are they like? In The Private Life of the Hare, John Lewis-Stempel explores myths, history and the reality of the hare. And in vivid, elegant prose he celebrates how, in an age when television cameras have revealed so much in our landscape, the hare remains as elusive and magical as ever.
Release

Still Water

The Deep Life of the Pond

Author: John Lewis-Stempel

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1473542529

Category: Nature

Page: 304

View: 6036

DOWNLOAD NOW »

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 and threatened fauna and flora depend on it. Written in gorgeous prose, Still Water tells the seasonal story of the wild animals and 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 when ponds shone everywhere like eyes in the land, sustaining life for all, from fish to carthorse. Still Water is a loving biography of the pond, and an alarm call on behalf of this precious but overlooked habitat. Above all, John Lewis-Stempel takes us on a remarkable journey – deep, deep down into the nature of still water.
Release

Where Poppies Blow

The British Soldier, Nature, the Great War

Author: John Lewis-Stempel

Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN: 0297869272

Category: History

Page: 400

View: 5825

DOWNLOAD NOW »

Winner of the 2017 Wainwright Golden Beer Book Prize for nature writing The natural history of the Western Front during the First World War 'If it weren't for the birds, what a hell it would be.' During the Great War, soldiers lived inside the ground, closer to nature than many humans had lived for centuries. Animals provided comfort and interest to fill the blank hours in the trenches - bird-watching, for instance, was probably the single most popular hobby among officers. Soldiers went fishing in flooded shell holes, shot hares in no-man's land for the pot, and planted gardens in their trenches and billets. Nature was also sometimes a curse - rats, spiders and lice abounded, and disease could be biblical. But above all, nature healed, and, despite the bullets and blood, it inspired men to endure. Where Poppies Blow is the unique story of how nature gave the British soldiers of the Great War a reason to fight, and the will to go on.
Release

The Glorious Life of the Oak

Author: John Lewis-Stempel

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 147355862X

Category: Nature

Page: 96

View: 4793

DOWNLOAD NOW »

'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 Saxons, the Norse - came to the British Isles in longships made of oak. For centuries the oak touched every part of a Briton's life - from cradle to coffin It was oak that made the 'wooden walls' of Nelson's navy, and the navy that allowed Britain to rule the world. Even in the digital Apple age, the real oak has resonance - the word speaks of fortitude, antiquity, pastoralism. The Glorious Life of the Oak explores our long relationship with this iconic tree; it considers the life-cycle of the oak, the flora and fauna that depend on the oak, the oak as medicine, food and drink, where Britain's mightiest oaks can be found, and it tells of oak stories from folklore, myth and legend.
Release

Meadowland

the private life of an English field

Author: John Lewis-Stempel

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1448152585

Category: Gardening

Page: 304

View: 3153

DOWNLOAD NOW »

WINNER OF THE THWAITES WAINWRIGHT PRIZE 2015 What really goes on in the long grass? Meadowland gives an unique and intimate account of an English meadow’s life from January to December, together with its biography. In exquisite prose, John Lewis-Stempel records the passage of the seasons from cowslips in spring to the hay-cutting of summer and grazing in autumn, and includes the biographies of the animals that inhabit the grass and the soil beneath: the badger clan, the fox family, the rabbit warren,the skylark brood and the curlew pair, among others. Their births, lives, and deaths are stories that thread through the book from first page to last.
Release

Young James Herriot

The Making of the World’s Most Famous Vet

Author: John Lewis-Stempel

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1446416224

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 272

View: 1245

DOWNLOAD NOW »

Set in Glasgow in the 1930s, Young James Herriot is the fascinating story of Herriot’s formative years at veterinary college, recounting the tales behind his calling to work with animals and his early friendships. With no modern drugs, and a lot of trial-and-error, James sets about learning how to treat the local farm animals and the pets of city folk. Accompanied by a cast of eccentric professors and an ensemble of aspiring veterinarians, this book reveals a world now lost to us, showing how life in pre-war Britain changed an enthusiastic young student named Alf Wight into the man who would charm millions of readers the world over.
Release

The Wild Life

A Year of Living on Wild Food

Author: John Lewis-Stempel

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1446421333

Category: Cooking

Page: 304

View: 846

DOWNLOAD NOW »

The Wild Life is John Lewis-Stempel's account of twelve months eating only food shot, caught or foraged from the fields, hedges, and brooks of his forty-acre farm. Nothing from a shop and nothing raised from agriculture. Could it even be done? We witness the season-by-season drama as the author survives on Nature's larder, trains Edith, a reluctant gundog, and conjures new recipes. And, above all, we see him get closer to Nature. Because, after all, you're never closer to Nature than when you're trying to kill it or pick it. Lyrical, observant and mordantly funny, The Wild Life is an extraordinary celebration of our natural heritage, and a testament to the importance of getting back to one's roots - spiritually and practically.
Release

The Wood

The Life & Times of Cockshutt Wood

Author: John Lewis-Stempel

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1473542537

Category: Nature

Page: 304

View: 2032

DOWNLOAD NOW »

A SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER and BBC Radio 4 'Book of the Week' from 'indisputably, one of the best nature-writers of his generation' (Country Life) Written in diary format, The Wood is the story of English woodlands as they change with the seasons. Lyrical and informative, steeped in poetry and folklore, The Wood inhabits the mind and touches the soul. For four years John Lewis-Stempel managed Cockshutt wood, a particular wood - three and half acres of mixed woodland in south west Herefordshire - that stands as exemplar for all the small woods of England. John coppiced the trees and raised cows and pigs who roamed free there. This is the diary of the last year, by which time he had come to know it from the bottom of its beech roots to the tip of its oaks, and to know all the animals that lived there - the fox, the pheasants, the wood mice, the tawny owl - and where the best bluebells grew. For many fauna and flora, woods like Cockshutt are the last refuge. It proves a sanctuary for John too. To read The Wood is to be amongst its trees as the seasons change, following an easy path until, suddenly the view is broken by a screen of leaves, or your foot catches on a root, or a bird startles overhead. This is a wood you will never want to leave.
Release