This extraordinary book, soon to be issued in a 50th anniversary edition, is a classic of nature writing, inspirational and revelatory with brilliant, intense, mythic-poetic language – described by Professor John Gray as probably the only example of shamanism in English literature.
‘Welcome, pale Primrose!’ exclaimed John Clare in his ‘Rural Poems’ and there can be few more heart-warming sights than this herald of the returning Spring. With their subtly-beautiful pale yellow flowers with orange-custard centres, Primroses have an almost ethereal presence as they shine gently from hedgerows and amongst woodland leaves as nature unfurls itself in the gradually warming days.
For February the Book of the Month becomes the Author of the Month, as the 12th marks the second anniversary of the death of the outstanding and hugely inspirational botanist, historical ecologist and nature writer Oliver Rackham.
For many people the arrival of Redwings, Waxwings and Fieldfares flying in on cold, starlit nights marks the approach of winter, and their departure a few months later just as surely means that spring has arrived. Now is the perfect time to see these flocks of beautiful migrants.
We have, since our spin out in 2013, been putting in a great deal of effort time and funding to improving this urban oasis into a nature reserve our town can be proud of. Created by Frances Alexander during her time as town mayor in 1998/99, it’s small at just 2 acres but it packs a mighty wildlife punch especially when you consider it is only a mile from the town centre.
Book of the Month – The Man Who Planted Trees – Jean Giono. This beautifully written book is a short and deeply moving allegorical tale of the widowed shepherd Elzeard Bouffier and his lifelong, single-minded quest to replant an arid and desolate valley in Provence.
Matt Sewell ‘the Banksy of the Bird World’ – acclaimed street artist, avid ornithologist, artist-in-residence on Springwatch and worldwide exhibitor – has produced a brilliant addition to his sequence of pocketable mini-masterpieces.
There is an old legend that Holly first sprang up under the footsteps of Jesus with scarlet berries like drops of blood and the leaves like a crown of thorns – in Northern Europe it is known as Holy Tree or Christ’s Thorn. An early Chiltern name for Holly is Christmas Tree, which may have given Christmas Common its name.