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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wild vision built on pragmatism and evidence
This review first appeared on [...]

George Monbiot is a well-known environmentalist. He has a regular column in the Guardian newspaper, writes occasionally for a number of other publications (all his articles can be viewed on the clutter free website [...] and a number of books already under his name. As a child, I sometimes dreamed of 'saving the rainforest'...
Published 13 months ago by Robin Lovelace

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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It made me very angry
Rarely has a book annoyed me quite as much as this one: for two very different reasons.
Firstly the argument is very powerful. That much of our landscape has been stripped of most of the natural animal and plant life, that for as long as modern humans have existed they have exterminated species on a terrifying scale, that much modern conservation is applying a...
Published 7 months ago by G. K. Lowell


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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written and thought provoking., 16 July 2013
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This review is from: Feral: Searching for enchantment on the frontiers of rewilding (Kindle Edition)
I think this is my favourite Monbiot book yet - personal and evocative as well as well researched and persuasive. I'm hugely into the idea of rewilding anyway but it gave me a lot of new ideas and perspectives to consider.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and evocative book, 4 July 2013
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I'm biased as I rate George Monbiot as the best environmental writer around - this book creates a real yearning for a wilder countryside, a heavy sense of loss but also hope for the future . Although it conjures some rather sensational headlines of reintroducing elephants and rhinos to the UK, the approach of re-directing subsidies and re-wilding unproductive uplands really is common sense - beavers, bears, wolves, lynx and moose could live alongside us and support our rural economies more than sheep and grouse.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Voice in the Wilderness, 3 July 2013
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This review is from: Feral: Searching for enchantment on the frontiers of rewilding (Kindle Edition)
We have all come to think that the Scottish Highlands are treeless sheep covered mountains which support very little wildlife apart from the occasional hooded crow and rabbit. George Monbiot shows that it could be so different. Initiatives such as "Trees for Life" and other "rewilding" projects are explained and reading this book will persuade us to support their hard work. The Clearances were bad enough but today's landowners are more concerned with grouse and deer shooting than with restoring the natural ecology of the hills. The income from deer stalking only meets about a third of the cost of running an estate. The book is full of statistics which will quickly become dated, but the underlying principles will remain.

The book looks more broadly than the situation in Scotland. Every chapter is very revealing and a call for action. George Monbiot advocates 'five star' solutions to a society which has not shown much concern for the issues so far, but would be hard pressed to accept a 'one star' course of action.

I had to read the whole book because at first I felt some of the ideas were daft. In the end my conclusion was that this is an important call to action. I hope it will be widely read and feel compelled to encourage many friends to read it.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Revolution not conservation, 9 July 2013
By 
Dominick Tyler (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This book effectively debunks the doctrine of conservation. Monbiot's clear eye surveys nature reserves in the barren uplands of Wales an sees impoverished ecosystems as ecologically diverse as a bowling green. Why, he asks, do we fetishise these mono-cultures of sheep-clipped scrub and protect them against the "encroachment" of the native trees which once covered the landscape? Why do we seem to want to conserve this landscape in a post-agricultural state, deprived of trees and diverse ecosystems rather than reintroducing the flora and fauna that once live there? Rewilding, or the creation of "self-willed" landscapes where nature is allowed to just get on with it, could replace the static, inert conservation practices with a more dynamic and liberated approach to the countryside. Monbiot's arguments are economic, environmental and also unashamedly emotional. What we stand to gain from the reintroduction of the species we have lost is not just material gain but something like a spiritual wealth. Whether it's a magnificent stand of trees, a bison in a woodland glade or a dolphin breaking through the waves the possibility of encounters with and within the wild is a driving force in Monbiot's manifesto. Our imaginations have been kept as stunted as the heather on the upland sheep pastures, nibbled at constantly by conventional wisdom and cultural myopia. This book willfully and joyfully scatters ideas like seeds, given time they may grow into something magnificent.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome, 4 July 2014
I have never given a book review before, but this book deserves a great one. Feral set my imagination alight, thoughts of reintroducing native (and maybe not so native) fauna to restore our degraded ecosystem, then step back and allow nature to on with it.

An truly awe inspiring read, this book opened my eyes to what we have lost and gave me hope of what could once again be.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Well done George., 25 Jun 2014
By 
Dr. Nigel D. Miles (Cornwall...UK) - See all my reviews
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George Monbiot is a dedicated and forthright zoologist with a zest for inspiring us to understand the change our natural world needs.

Mr. Monbiot + provides us with his own investigative powers of interpretation of the natural history of much of Europe and the British Isles since the Mesolithic Period until today and directs us to consider seriously the ideas of rewilding in Europe and elsewhere as an advancement of our understanding of our material and psychological needs as much as it being a natural and legal requirement in an ever expanding and understanding European Union.

Personally he does not go far enough in encouraging a similarity of view which exists in some areas of Europe where certain creatures exist and are accepted as part of nature and their cultural heritage and then feels that we are too conservative for such values in the UK. This tars us with the brush of a form of racism which is not acceptable. However this does not detract from the his original concept of "Feral" being a wonderful opportunity to bring back wild species which existed in the British Isles historically and can be again with a greater understanding with a real knowledge of Ecological Literacy as a core curricula subject in statutory education. It is now or never. Rewildiing as a concept and reality is something we need to access for all our benefits.
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5.0 out of 5 stars At the vanguard of restoration ecology, 14 Jun 2014
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Far less dry and more readable than I envisioned it might be, with some chapters so stuffed full of personal anecdotes, reminiscences and reflections that it reads more like the prose of Robert MacFarlane and Roger Deakin than an extension of Monbiot's Guardian columns. At the same time Monbiot's characteristic thoroughness is ever present, with all of his source material diligently and comprehensively referenced and footnoted, serving to bolster and back up his compelling arguments and views. This is certainly more of a 'popular' treatise on restoration ecology than an academic text book, but it is all the better for it. In particular his chapters on restoring elements of Caledonian pine woods through planting are worth reading, and way ahead of the tired and outdated views of the past that are still stubbornly clung on to by folk such as Watson, Balharry and Dunlop. In the world of restoration ecology, the views of these dinosaurs have been supplanted by a new, laudable vision held by those who are trying to bring back the biodiversity and variety to our landscape. Like them, Monbiot recognises that nature is in crisis and the urgency of the situation necessitates action to restore it back to health. With this book, he has positioned himself as their flag bearer.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Intruiging read, 7 Jun 2014
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Well researched alternative way of managing British uplands and countryside. Some may consider the author's views controversial but it is a good starting point for the discussion abut re-wilding
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4.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational, if not the complete picture, 5 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Feral: Searching for enchantment on the frontiers of rewilding (Kindle Edition)
I read this as someone who has considered rewilding a lot and has a degree in ecology and was hoping for big, sweeping solutions to the problem of aggressive agriculture and misguided conservationism. I got it, but not as much as I wanted. The personal passages where George demonstrates his knack for a metaphor and his yearning for an actual man-cave are great and inspirational for anyone who spends too much time in front of a computer and never gets their feet wet. It made me want to go coasteering again or build a mud hut in the woods and live off berries and owl pellets or whatever it is wild people do these days. The other part of the book is a depressing catalogue of destruction as Monbiot describes many shocking practices that are wiping out any vestige of wildlife we have, on land and at sea (our treatment of ocean environments is nothing short of disgraceful) and how powerless we are to do anything about it in the face of rich landowners and the well-connected hunting lobbyists. He doesn't provide solutions in enough detail to convince such people to change their ways, but the evidence of the harm being done is irrefutable.

I recommend this book to anyone with a beating heart.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking, beautifully written, lyrical and timely, 21 May 2014
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A really wonderful book that manages that rare alchemy of lucid writing - at times almost poetic evocations - sound science (well referenced) and thoughtful insight. I raced through the books and finished it thrilled.

I'd strongly recommend this to anyone interested in conservation and the environment, or even just wondering why everything seemed to have become so boring ...
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