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Brown Hares in the Derbyshire Dales: The Story of One of the Peak District's Most Enigmatic Mammals Paperback – 3 Sep 2012

4.9 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Vertebrate Publishing; 2nd Revised edition edition (3 Sept. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906148562
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906148560
  • Product Dimensions: 24.6 x 1.1 x 18.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 300,063 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"It features wonderful images of the hares themselves, a testimony to the author's patience, fieldcraft and expertise as a photographer ... Underlying the photography, the text carries a powerful conservation message, emphasising the importance of habitat diversity, for the hares and for the rest of the associated wildlife." (Dr Derek Yalden, Mammal News ). "Christine Gregory's book is a worthy addition to the tradition of natural history writing. It is scientifically accurate, well-written and a homage to an animal Christine is clearly fond of. " (Jim Dixon, Chief Executive, Peak District National Park Authority). "A neat balance of factual information and romantic musings, accompanied by some great photography." (Country Walking Magazine). --various

About the Author

Christine Gregory is a writer, photographer and painter. Having taught social and political studies in adult and community education for over 20 years, she went on to teach radio skills and print journalism in further education. She has made community-based radio programmes for BBC Radio Sheffield and features for BBC Radio 4, although now concentrates full time on writing, painting and photography. She lives in the Derbyshire Dales of the Peak District where she has been following, studying and photographing brown hares in their natural habitat for several years. This book, Brown Hares in the Derbyshire Dales, first published in 2010, is the result of a life-long love of the countryside and a personal concern for the environment.


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Format: Paperback
The stunning photos are what first strikes anyone fortunate enough to have a copy of this brilliant book. Newly born leverets, hares leaping in the air, hunkered down in the grass, picking their way through snow, feeding, climbing walls, boxing, frisking in the sunshine...... so many wonderful images of one of the most secret and special mammals. And then the photographic range widens, to include other mammals and birds, plus several glorious panoramas of the Derbyshire Dales, setting the brown hare in context of the whole of its local environment. In Christine Gregory's breath-taking close-ups, we see every whisker, all the delicate markings, we see the eyes of the hares shining, in the light of dawn or in the setting sun. The eyes are always watchful and the ears are erect, for these are creatures under threat, on the margins of existence. The photos are glorious but the text, while celebrating the fascinating life cycle of the hare, spells out the threats to wildlife in the way the countryside is managed. We learn how the hare is the perfect indicator of biodiversity and how changes in government policy and agricultural practices impact crucially on wildlife. Although this book focuses on brown hares in the Derbyshire Dales, it has a much wider remit and will delight anyone who cares about the environment. Christine Gregory has stalked hares on the moors at dawn and loitered in midge-ridden fields at dusk, making a commitment to understanding these creatures in a way few could manage. She brings us a comprehensive vision of these beguiling creatures who, with the appropriate protection, could once again thrive, an indicator of positive change in the environment.
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Format: Paperback
Brown Hares in the Derbyshire Dales is documented by Christine Gregory on location in the place closest to my heart, my home county of Derbyshire. This is in essence two books, with much of the first part covering the brown hare and their cultural and physical make-up. From their inception in ancient Britain to the mythical and spiritual references of this once sacred creature to their breeding patterns and courtships. We find out that they like a good scrap and are quite adept in the green boxing arena often causing serious injuries; that they have tremendous speed and can turn sharply to throw off most pursuing predators regardless of their agility with some getting up to speeds of 45 mph.

Part two widens the story to where the hare fits in within modern farming and life. With much of Britain's hedgerows and wild pastures now gone, replaced by modern intensive farming practices we find out how this has affected the hare and in turn brought about a large reduction in their numbers. To supplement all of this evidence there are some interesting monologues by local farmers who cite a collection of issues that have brought us to where we are as they try to meet demands from modern society alongside financial pressure brought on by huge supermarkets. One interview features Lord Edward Manners of Haddon Hall, interviewed especially for the book by the author. Much of what is captured paints a potentially bleak picture for many involved in agriculture today which in turn is bleak for the creatures that habitat this landscape.

I cannot help but feel that the real work comes from the pictures in this book, and goes back to my own experiences of `not' seeing hares out and about. Given it takes knowledge to know where they are and how to avoid disturbing them, this is no small task.
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Format: Paperback
This is both a wonderful book of wildlife photography, and a fascinating work on biodiversity and the loss of natural wildlife habitats. Christine Gregory combines her skill as a photographer with her passion for the brown hare and her extensive knowledge of biodiversity and the impact of modern agricultural practices.

One of the best photos is the picture of a newborn leveret that has been rescued from a stoat on p66. The picture of the tiny hare, fur ruffled and unarguably beautiful, contrasts with a comment from the introduction to the book where the author notes that "they live their often solitary and tough lives out in the open from birth".

On the title page of the book there is a quote from the United Kingdom Biodiversity Action Plan which states that the plan will "use the popularity of the brown hare to highlight the impact on biodiversity of modern agricultural practices and loss of mixed farms". The author then adds that "this book attempts in a small way to do just that". Christine Gregory has more than achieved her aim.
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Format: Paperback
This is the updated edition of Christine Gregory's excellent book about brown hares in the Derbyshire Dales. The format size is slightly different and better proportioned in my opinion and includes a lot of new photographs. These are the result of the authors painstaking field work and it is particularly impressive to see the use of the authors original photography to help illustrate a story which includes sections on the life cycle of the brown hare and perhaps of greater importance, the environmental factors impacting on the ultimate survival of this wonderful animal. It is particularly good to read the comments by local farmers who often go unacknowledged in their pivotal role in maintaining these increasingly rare habitats. However, for me it is the photographs that make the book and anyone who has had the privilege of encountering these creatures of myth and legend will surely delight in this excellent publication.
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