Tag Archive for: nature

 

This hopeful book celebrates what happens when we step aside and let nature repair the damage. Whether it is the overfishing of bluefin tuna across the Atlantic, the destruction of coral gardens by dredgers in Lyme Bay or the restoration of oysters on the East Coast of America, Charles Clover chronicles how determined individuals are proving that the crisis in our oceans can be reversed, with benefits for both local communities and entire ecosystems.

Trawling and dredging create more CO2 than the aviation industry, damaging vast areas of our continental shelves and preventing them them from soaking up carbon. Glover explains how we need to fish in different ways, if we fish at all. Rewilding the Sea gives us a positive vision of how we can mitigate climate change and restore the biodiversity in our oceans.

Everybody Needs Beauty book cover

 

Everybody is talking about the healing properties of nature. Hospitals are being retrofitted with gardens, and forests reimagined as wellbeing centres. On the Shetland Islands, it is possible to walk into a doctor’s surgery with anxiety or depression, and walk out with a prescription for nature.

Where has this come from, and what does ‘going to nature’ mean? Where is it – at the end of a garden, beyond the tarmac fringes of a city, at the summit of a mountain? Drawing on history, science, literature and art, Samantha Walton shows that the nature cure has deep roots – but, as we face an unprecedented crisis of mental health, social injustice and environmental devastation, the search for it is more urgent now than ever.

Everybody Needs Beauty engages seriously with the connection between nature and health, while scrutinising the harmful trends of a wellness industry that seeks to exploit our relationship with the natural world. In doing so, this book explores how the nature cure might lead us towards a more just and radical way of life: a real means of recovery, for people, society and nature.



Brilliant Abyss Book Cover

 

The deep sea is the last, vast wilderness on the planet. For centuries, myth-makers and storytellers have concocted imaginary monsters of the deep, now scientists are looking there to find bizarre, unknown species, chemicals to make new medicines, and to gain a greater understanding of how this world works.

The Brilliant Abyss tells the story of our relationship with the deep sea – how we imagine, explore and exploit it. It captures the golden age of discovery we are currently in and looks back at the history of how we got here, while also looking forward to the unfolding new environmental disasters that are taking place miles beneath the waves, far beyond the public gaze.

Readers are taken on a chronological journey through humanity’s developing relationship with the deep sea. The Brilliant Abyss ends by looking forwards to humanity’s advancing impacts on the deep, including mining and pollution and what we can do about them.

 

Wild Fell book cover

 

Lee Schofield, ecologist and site manager for RSPB Haweswater, is leading efforts to breathe life back into two hill farms and their thirty square kilometres of sprawling upland habitat. Informed by the land, its history and the people who have shaped it, Lee and his team are repairing damaged wetlands, meadows and woods. Each year, the landscape is becoming richer, wilder and better able to withstand the shocks of a changing climate.

But in the contested landscape of the Lake District, change is not always welcomed, and success relies on finding a balance between rewilding and respecting cherished farming traditions.

‘In a country defined as the seventh most nature depleted on Earth, in a region plagued by flooding and climate-chaos, here comes Lee Schofield’s brilliant book full of positive action and hope for the future. Wild Fell is a record of environmental achievement, of the RSPB’s mission to restore the places and wild nature of Haweswater. But it’s also a political tract, and throws down a gauntlet to us all to make the Lake District a national park that is genuinely worthy of the title.’ – Mark Cocker

 

Moving Mountains Anthology Cover photo

 

A groundbreaking anthology of nature writing by authors living with chronic illness and physical disability. Moving Mountains is not about overcoming or conquering, but about living with and connecting, shifting the reader’s attention to the things easily overlooked by those who move through the world untroubled by the body that carries them.

Contributors: Isobel Anderson, Kerri Andrews, Polly Atkin, Khairani Barokka, Victoria Bennett, Feline Charpentier, Cat Chong, Eli Clare, Dawn Cole, Lorna Crabbe, Kate Davis, Carol Donaldson, Alec Finlay, Jamie Hale, Jane Hartshorn, Hannah Hodgson, Sally Huband, Rowan Jaines, Dillon Jaxx, Louise Kenward, Abi Palmer, Louisa Adjoa Parker, Alice Tarbuck, Nic Wilson.



Part of Lucy Jones’ genius lies in her instinctive, incisive grasp of our animal natures, and in this luminous exploration of Homo Sapiens’ physical and mental needs, she charts how much of civilization has become dislocated from the natural world. Our minds and bodies need the lavish abundance of the wild, Jones argues. And if we don’t protect it, we jeopardize the very ecosystems that sustain us. – Liz Jensen

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” In 1845, freethinker and bankrupt schoolteacher Henry David Thoreau moved from Concord out into the middle of the woods, settling on the banks of Walden Pond on land owned by philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson. Thoreau built himself a small hut—a kind of precursor to the Tiny House movement—and cultivated the land for a living while writing and pondering life in the woods. The result became a classic of American literature: an extended reflection on nature, solitude, water, wildlife, economy, hiking and vegetarianism. Thoreau’s interpretation of life in an ant colony and his observations of pine needles are unforgettable – and alone earn him his place as one of the father figures of nature writing genre. At the same time, his book is a critique of the society he came from.- Maja Lucas.

 

This vivid collection of prose, poetry and photography centres on the intersection of modernity and nature in a rapidly changing Scotland, taking us from walking to wild swimming, from red deer to pigeons and wasps, from remote islands to back gardens. Featuring writers and artists that all call Scotland home, the anthology takes a diverse and radical look at nature and landscape within the context of the evolving ecological crisis. ‘There is eco-anxiety, ‘solastalgia’, feminism; there are the ruins of capitalist endeavour.’

It is not all doom and gloom though. The noticing and caring, Jamie argues, ‘amounts to an act of resistance to the forces of destruction.’

With contributions from Amy Liptrot, Malachy Tallack, Chitra Ramaswamy, Jim Crumley, Amanda Thomson, Karine Polwart and many more, Antlers of Water urges us to renegotiate our relationship with the more-than-human world, in writing which is by turns celebratory, radical and political.

“I recommend anyone prone to despair to read Wilding – for Isabella Tree’s apparently quixotic tale of Exmoor ponies, longhorn cattle, red deer and Tamworth pigs roaming free on an aristocratic estate is a hugely important addition to the literature of what can be done to restore soil and soul. The book describes an attempt to renew the ecosystem, after decades of intensive agriculture of some 1,400 hectares owned by Tree’s husband Charlie Burrell at Knepp in West Sussex. The project, which began in 2001, is perhaps unique in England, and the results have been spectacular. Tree is a trenchant critic of the intensive agriculture that has led to soil degradation and erosion. She questions the goal-driven frameworks of much conservation work: when there is no preferred end state, formerly rare and even vanished species tend suddenly to reappear. And she battles heroically against the English addiction to tidiness. For a nation obsessed with orderliness and boundaries, land that is endlessly morphing, on its way to being something else, can be discomforting. She also makes the case that it is possible to feed 10 billion humans on this planet while also leaving more space for the wild.” – Caspar Henderson

Responding to a call from poet Rip Bulkeley’s call, sixty-three poets contributed to the anthology Rebel Talk. As Philip Gross’s Foreword explains, the poems “…seek to show what, uniquely, these times are, and why it is once again so urgent that creative artists respond to the challenges they pose, in particular to the climate emergency.

Each poem is an individual response to this challenge: as a collection, they possess a wealth of language and imagery, by turns hard, laconic, diamond sharp, down-to-earth, tender, urgently lyrical. What are these times? Almost – not quite – too late.”

Rebel Talk is divided into six chapters, exploring themes and emotions which draw together responses to the climate emergency. The opening chapter, ‘Earth’, rejoices and grounds itself in nature’s diversity and cosmic unity. Here is a vision of a natural world which we can recognise and respect, in which we can flourish and thrive because we know what we must do to make sure we don’t damage it.