47 of 47 people found the following review helpful
on 21 June 2003
Whilst not explaining specific management techniques in great depth, it nonetheless provides an excellent introduction to the various habitats of the British Isles and the diverse range of management options available to the conservationist. The chapters of the book are devoted to the examination of specific habitats such as coastal, urban, woodland and heathland environments. In each of these chapters the author briefly covers the ecology, history and status of these habitats before going into greater depth about the biological basis for potential management regimes and their ecological impacts and cost effectiveness.
The style of writing is lucid and informed by an extensive body of research that is both well interpreted and well referenced for anyone wishing to pursue the topics further. The author has the ability to cut straight to the central issues over the management of particular habitats. For example, the chapter on heathland clearly explains that the key to management success is control of the nutrient cycle within the ecosystem. The first three chapters outline issues and principles that are generic to all habitats such as control of succession and site management planning.
What the book excludes from its analysis is the whole array of political and cultural factors that also influence what style of management is adopted. Conservationists often like to believe that their line of work is largely informed by scientific principles, when in fact subjectivity and value judgements form an equally important component. However, I acknowledge that it is not the intention of this book to examine these issues and a book such as 'Contested Natures' provides an excellent exploration of this topic. As a practical guide to habitat management this is one of the best books on the market and anyone involved or interested in nature conservation would do well to read its invaluable advice.
45 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on 20 October 2001
This book is a must for any people out there in the world that are joining with the ever increasing hordes, and moving towards a career in the field of conservation. Not only does it cover all the various types of habitats from terrestrial to coastal, but it explains them in a way which makes it easy for conservational newcomers to comprehend.
Even if you are not new to conservation, this book will allow you to expand on your knowledge and has great reference sections for future readings.