How to See Nature (Hardcover)
A beautifully lyrical collection of essays on the natural world in Britain by the Guardian's country diary writer Paul Evans.
With a title taken from the 1940 Batsford book, this is nature writing for the modern reader. 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. Evans weaves historical, cultural and literary references into his writing, ranging from TS Eliot to Bridget Riley, from Hieronymus Bosch to Napoleon.
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. Other chapters look 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.
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.
'The ordinary becomes extraordinary in this fascinating book'—Miriam Darlington, BBC Wildlife
‘By celebrating [the natural world] so beautifully, Evans is playing as important a role in its conservation as anybody.'—Birdwatching
'It’s the perfect collection to dip into and out of at leisure and is perfect for anyone with a natural history bent'—Epicurean
'Evans has a lovely way of writing, evocative with an eye for detail on the bigger picture'—Half Man Half Book
'There is profound yet unobtrusive elegance in Paul Evans’ writing.'—Peter Reason, Resurgence & Ecologist Review
'There is profound yet unobtrusive elegance in Paul Evans’ writing'—The Ecologist
'It’s like going on a short walk with a knowledgeable guide. Refreshing and educational.'—The People's Friend