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A Less Green and Pleasant Land
Our Threatened Wildlife


Chris Packham
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  • Date Published: April 2015
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107673236

£ 14.99

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About the Authors
  • Disentangling the facts from the hype, this 'Domesday book' of the British and Irish countryside offers a definitive and up-to-date survey of the state of our wildlife today. Norman Maclean, editor of the bestselling Silent Summer, examines the latest findings of Britain and Ireland's top wildlife experts and interprets them for a wider audience. Each chapter provides reliable estimates of animal populations, showing which species are thriving and which are in decline. The book also considers the effects of climate change on our wildlife and how human population growth is influencing its development. Beautifully illustrated with colour plates and wood engravings throughout, this accessible and timely study reveals just how rapidly our countryside and its wildlife are changing, why we should be concerned, and what we can do about it.

    • Provides a definitive audit of the state of British and Irish wildlife across the board
    • Discusses the reasons behind changes in animal populations and what can be done about them
    • Written in a jargon-free style that will engage anyone interested in wildlife and conservation
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'I hope that you will read, consider, mull and mould all [the book's] ideas in your minds and then feel empowered and motivated to help move wildlife conservation in the UK into a new era … before it is too late.' Chris Packham, naturalist, wildlife photographer and TV presenter, from the Foreword

    'Providing an audit of the British Isles' wildlife, the author explains both the status and reasons for species' declines and increases clearly and authoritatively.' Derek Niemann, BBC Wildlife Magazine

    'In this important book about an assumed once-pleasant land, biologist Norman Maclean runs his expert eye over the state of Britain's nature.' Times Higher Education

    '… illuminating … very readable… should be on the shelves of anyone who cares about wildlife, especially policymakers who hold its future in their hands.' Brett Westwood, BBC Countryfile Magazine

    'A Less Green and Pleasant Land covers an impressively broad sweep of topics, not only documenting the biological wealth of Britain and Ireland, but also the full range of what human actions past, present and future could mean for this heritage … Rich with personal experiences and anecdotes, the core of the book is a plea to everyone who cares about the world they live in to take note and take action.' Mark Wilson, BTO News

    'Norman Maclean was editor of the mammoth, highly successful Silent Summer and this book aims to present the contents of Silent Summer in a more concise and accessible format. And it does just that, enabling a much wider audience to be reached … Maclean sets the scene well in each chapter, presenting the context to support his points and predictions. The reader is presented with digestible nuggets of information about many different issues … Readers can learn a terrific amount from this book, as case studies and summaries of a multitude of issues are presented. And, perhaps most importantly, they may be inspired to help make a difference … This book deserves a place on the shelves of all of those who really care about the countryside and are concerned for its future. But equally, and perhaps more importantly, on the shelves of those who want to learn more about our countryside and how it works.' Ajay Tegala, British Birds

    'Its detailed data make it a must-read for nature lovers in Britain.' Marco Ferrante, Conservation Biology

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2015
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107673236
    • length: 424 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.7kg
    • contains: 9 b/w illus. 16 colour illus.
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Foreword Chris Packham
    1. Living with change
    2. A short dose of Earth history
    3. Climate change
    4. Down on the farm and into the woods
    5. Plant and animal introductions (and recent arrivals)
    6. Our overcrowded isles – human population and aspiration
    7. The availability of fresh water
    8. Hunting, shooting and fishing: the enigma of field sports and wildlife
    9. Wildlife conservation at home and overseas
    So how is our wildlife faring? The details:
    10. Mammals
    11. Birds
    12. Reptiles and amphibians
    13. Freshwater fish
    14. Butterflies and moths
    15. Other insects – dragonflies, beetles, bees etc.
    16. Other invertebrates – spiders, snails, crayfish etc.
    17. Trees, shrubs and flowering plants
    18. Fungi
    19. Life in the open sea
    20. Where sea meets land
    21. Top wildlife sites
    22. What does the future hold?
    Further reading
    Latin names of species

  • Author

    Norman Maclean, University of Southampton
    Norman Maclean is Emeritus Professor of Biology at the University of Southampton and a lifelong wildlife enthusiast. He has visited and studied wildlife in more than 50 countries around the world and has given numerous radio and TV interviews on the subject. He is the editor of Silent Summer (Cambridge University Press, 2010).


    Chris Packham


    Chris Packham

Featured Video

Wildlife expert Norman Maclean talks about his new book, A Less Green and Pleasant Land

also by this author

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