New Naturalist: Nature in towns and cities by David Goode
Hardback £55.00 Paper back £35.00
ISBN for HB 978 0 00 724239 9 for PB 978 0 00 724240 5
Pages 420 Release October 2014
Being a country boy I thought this book may not be up my ‘street’ but how wrong I was going to be proven with so much wealth of habitats and species found around the country in our urban sprawl. The book is split into 3 areas with Urban habitats, Colonisers and Specialists and Urban nature Conservation. How hay fields and heaths could survive with so much development around these urban sprawls is amazing not to mention ancient woodlands after bombing and coal strikes. Not surprisingly alpine meadows were not found but certain species can escape from gardens to colonise waste ground with no competition. None of these areas would be protected if it was not for community involvement. What better example came from Bolton when a boy brought in a bunch of Orchids to his school’s nature event only for the teacher to realise that these species should not be found in the Bolton area! Out of the ashes of a chemical waste tip rose ‘Nob End’ [locally named!] which is still with us today as an SSSI and part of the Moses Gate country park.
From school children watching a fox kill one of their chickens to Mallard not wanting to get cold and flying into the naturally heated Roman Baths of Bath species are adapting all the time. Who would have thought Kittiwakes would nest up river on the Tyne at Newcastle or Peregrines are commoner in London than large areas of Red Grouse moors in Britain! Badgers found in cemeteries often bring up human bones while digging their sett while buddleia, the great butterfly shrub, are now classed as a pest species due to its expansion in many southern areas of England. David Goode has done an excellent job with this book and brought the urban areas right up to date with their conservation and community activities. Even I might be tempted out of the rural area to look at some of these urban areas with a new light after reading this brilliant book!