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David Sewell "David Sewell" (UK)

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Yorkshire Dales (Collins New Naturalist Library, Book 130)
Yorkshire Dales (Collins New Naturalist Library, Book 130)
by John Lee
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £39.00

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Plants, propogation, and secret societies, 21 Nov. 2015
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A beautiful plant so rare that it is presumed extinct in the UK, accidentally discovered by two cotton weavers, and then guarded by a secret society for fifty years. Eventually the plant produces seed, after years of attempts by a small army of botanists, and its progeny are now successfully colonising sites elsewhere in the UK. What more could one ask for in a book? The fact is that I have only described chapter 5, on the Lady's slipper orchid. The rest of the book is good, but buy it for chapter 5 alone and you will not be disappointed.


Shakespeare Sigma Neoprene Chest Waders Cleat Sole - Brown, Size 9
Shakespeare Sigma Neoprene Chest Waders Cleat Sole - Brown, Size 9
Price: £61.71

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fit for purpose, 27 Jun. 2015
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I bought these for use on day's water vole photography, where I had to spend the day sitting in the middle of a stream. They fulfilled their function exactly, enabling me to sit in mid-stream without getting wet. My only reason for giving them four stars rather than five is that this is the only time I have used them so far, so it has not been that much of a test as yet. However, first impression is that they do exactly what they are supposed to do.


Nature in Towns and Cities (Collins New Naturalist Library, Book 127)
Nature in Towns and Cities (Collins New Naturalist Library, Book 127)
by David Goode
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £35.75

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The devil's in the details, 26 Nov. 2014
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This book picks up where one of the earliest New Naturalist volumes left off, but whereas Richard Fitter's early volume in the series only looked at the natural history of London, this one examines nature in towns and cities across the UK. It is possible to pick up many interesting tips from this volume. For example, if I want to see jays very close to I learn I should visit the Botanic Gardens in Bath, or better still go to St James's Park in London, where some individuals will even feed out of the hand. For a close encounter with wild herons I should go to Regent's Park instead.

The author admits to favouring birds, and sometimes this shows. My own interests are more general and while information on birds is excellent there is rather less on many other groups. Even worse, the index contains a number of errors, so that if you look up records of adders (the first species in the Index of Species section), most of the references given are actually to the plant adder's tongue fern, and are repeated under that species name in the following entry. Lissotriton vulgaris is referred to as the common newt. Whilst this is an acceptable common name, the species is almost universally known as the smooth newt. In the body of the text the feral pigeon gets a whole section to itself, but is referred to as the town pigeon.

These are, however, rather trivial criticisms. The book is divided into three sections, Urban Habitats, Colonisers and Specialists and Urban Nature Conservation. All are well written, and I have learned a lot from each of them. I recommend the book, but be careful with that index!


GERMAN ISSUE GORETEX WATERPROOF FLECKTARN TROUSERS
GERMAN ISSUE GORETEX WATERPROOF FLECKTARN TROUSERS
Offered by CISSBURY RETAIL

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I would therefore recommend buying 1-2 sizes larger than you normally take, 9 Nov. 2014
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I have only had these overtrousers a few weeks, but have found them to be waterproof, and as they are held up by braces they do not fall down while you are walking, a problem I have had with those from other suppliers in the past. The braces are, unfortunately, also a disadvantage. They hold the trousers fairly high up, meaning that there may be a little bit of exposed ordinary trousers at the bottom. They are also a little tight under the crotch. I would therefore recommend buying 1-2 sizes larger than you normally take. They are waterproof, light and look to be ideal for a week walking in the Cairngorms at the end of the winter, which is what I have bought them for.


Hewlett Packard A4 Premium Plus Photo Paper
Hewlett Packard A4 Premium Plus Photo Paper
Price: £11.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Great paper, but watch the value, 9 Nov. 2014
In my opinion this is the best photographic paper on the market, capable of lasting without fading for years. This is the paper to use if you want to frame your photos, and hang them in a sunny place. The reason I have only given three stars is the price. Currently (9/11/14) you can pick up a pack of 50 sheets on Amazon for £23-24, which offers much better value for money. Still worth buying this offer if you are only likely to ever need just a few sheets though.


German Army Issue Flecktarn Parka Double Jacket Set
German Army Issue Flecktarn Parka Double Jacket Set
Offered by CISSBURY RETAIL
Price: £29.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Flecktern Parka, 15 Sept. 2014
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The jacket itself is fine, ideal for what I want it for (nature photography in winter), well made and refurbished to a high spec. Two comments though, firstly the jacket was marked as dispatched by the supplier on 26th August, but not delivered until 12th September, a total of seventeen days. Probably best not to order this if you need the jacket in a hurry. Secondly, I am normally a large, but whilst the XXL I ordered is a little long in the arms, it is just right across the shoulders. In other words, order 1-2 sizes above what you would normally take.

These issues aside, I am really pleased with my purchase.


Grasshoppers and Crickets (Collins New Naturalist Library, Book 120)
Grasshoppers and Crickets (Collins New Naturalist Library, Book 120)
by Ted Benton
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £32.50

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Grasshoppers and crickets, 5 Aug. 2012
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Books on British grasshoppers seem to come along at a rate of about one a generation. There was David Ragge's 1965 book in the Wayside and Woodland series, and more recently Marshall and Haes 1988 book on the subject. So if you have one of the earlier books, and are not a New Naturalist collector, is it worth buying another volume on the subject? In a word, yes. There have been many changes in the British Orthoptera since the last book came out, many new things about them have been discovered, and the range of many species has changed. The author deals well with all these matters.

The main way in which Marshall and Haes's volume outshines this one is in the illustrations. M & H had beautiful plates to illustrate the features of the species, whereas this volume only has photographs, where sometimes important features are either hidden or not clearly shown. However, the New Naturalist series has never been primarily a field guide, so this is in keeping with earlier volumes in the series.

There is also the matter of the DVD which accompanies the book. In the Introduction the author admits that recording the species for the DVD was a steep learning curve, and this shows in the technical production. However, the DVD often shows things that are otherwise hard to include in a book, such as the songs of many of the species, and both the author and publishers are to be congratulated on this innovation for the series.

There are a few things that puzzled me, for example why is the great green bush cricket described as nocturnal (p. 256)? I am familiar with this species, and find both males and females on most afternoons when I visit my local site. In addition to this there are the usual few typos, but none of these detract from the overall authority of the book.

A worthy addition to the New Naturalist series, and also well worth buying if you have an interest in the subject.


Cronin's Key Guide to Australian Mammals
Cronin's Key Guide to Australian Mammals
by Leonard Cronin
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good at what it does, 2 July 2012
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It is important to know what you are getting. If you are after a field guide Menkhorst and Knight's 'A field guide to the mammals of Australia' is more comprehensive and more succinct than this book is, and has better illustrations. Where Cronin's guide scores is in the information it gives on each species covered, going beyond the conventional field guide to give information on diet, behaviour and development of the young. Another weakness of the book is in the species covered. Introduced species such as red fox, domestic cat and rabbit have devastated Australia's mammals, but are not covered. However, if you are looking for an introductory guide to marsupials, monotremes and other native mammals you could do far worse.


The Darcys and the Bingleys (Pride & Prejudice Continues)
The Darcys and the Bingleys (Pride & Prejudice Continues)
by Marsha Altman
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sad treatment of familiar characters, 5 Aug. 2011
It is a truth, universally acknowledged, that a much-loved book must be in need of a satisfying sequel. Unfortunately, this is not it. It is true that the names of the characters are familiar ones, but they have undergone such a change of behaviour that they seem like totally different people. For example, Wickham pays a visit to Darcy and Bingley on the day of their joint wedding with the Bennet sisters. An interesting thought, but it culminates in Wickham being thrown out of a "second" storey window (which would, of course, have been first storey to Darcey and Bingley) into a pile of manure. This breaks his fall, but the reader is left wondering what such a sufficiently large pile of manure was doing up against the wall of a fine house in the first place. One also wonders at the change in Darcy's character that allows him to treat even Wickham in this way. Elsewhere we learn that the news of the pregnancy of Mrs Collins is being kept from the "Rosings crowd" . A book that purports to be a sequel to a much loved early 19th century novel needs to use the language of that period, but fails to do so far too often.


The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency)
The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency)
by Alexander McCall Smith
Edition: Hardcover

39 of 39 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The hunt for a good case, 30 Mar. 2011
The charm of these stories lies in the lives of the central characters rather than in the cases that are solved by the detection agency. Whilst the injury of cattle is, perhaps, a more realistic case for a private detective than the murders more classic fictional detectives get to solve, the single case handled by Mma Ramotswe in this book is not sufficient. Mma Ramotswe is engaging both as a detective and as a character. Here she seems to be in search of a good case to solve.

To a certain extent I found this to be a book of two halves, with the second part featuring not only the long-awaited wedding of Mma Makutsi, but also the return of the little white van, far more satisfying than the first part.

I have been a fan of this series almost since it started. I enjoyed this one, but it is far from being the best.


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