Top positive review
11 people found this helpful
on 5 November 2007
This practical guide to locating rarer species of butterfies in Britain is beautifully produced and appears to be pleasingly factually accurate.
"The Millennium Atlas of Butterflies of Britain and Ireland" of a few years ago set a really high bar for books on this subject, and this slimmer work by D F Newland in no ways tries to compete with the massive, authoratative "Atlas..." Instead, it is a labour of love by one writer, passing on details of 100 or so sites to explore where interesting butterfies can be found.
The fact that it is such a personal work is the real strength of this book, modern Nature works do not always convey the enthusiasm of the author(s), something every word and photograph accomplishes here. In his acknowlegdements, Newland thanks his wife, who has accompanied him on his field trips; in fact she has contributed to the work too, adding a short poem to many of the site descriptions. These could easily have been twee, but in fact, are uniformly enjoyable, often a little odd, and do add a sense of place. For example :
"At Grafton,when bluebells abound
Prepare to walk on muddy ground."
A rather unusual aspect to a book of this sort and good fun.
Personally, I would have preferred more site descriptions to the descriptions of species that fill the last part of the book, but at least these give the author a chance to display more of his fine photographs.