This new series of British natural history with Meadows as the second volume is set to be a new classic. Peterken's style is easy but scholarly and the pictures illuminate this fabulous book. Quite simply there isn't a better natural history of meadows. This is a book that the expert and newcomer to this precious habitat can enjoy and learn a great deal. Most importantly it sets out the detailed ecological, social, cultural and modern history of meadows. It lays out what we have lost not just in terms of the plants and other wildlife but a way of life. I love the chapter that outlines the European grasslands, notably those in those remaining rural enclaves such as in Romania. I hope they survive the modern world. This is a beautiful book that anyone interested in meadows should have.
I have watched in horror at the loss of this iconic habitat from our landscapes over the last 50 years. We now have but a vestige of what was of this extraordinarily rich and beautiful habitat. OK the right kind of meadows give me the most awful hay fever but this book which is so beautifully illustrated hits the senses without causing me to sneeze! It is a truly fascinating insight into the history, evolution and management of this wildlife jewel. It also offers some optimism for the future with an interesting final chapter in which Peterken looks forward with some practical hope. Peterken suggests that 'enthusiastic meadow people enjoy sharing their values and experiences with others in the hope that they will both increase support for their efforts and learn from the experiences of others'. This book is no better testament to this fact! I for one hope it will reinvigorate efforts to save our remaining jewels and offer practical help and motivation for those interested in restoration and creation of new flower rich meadows.
This is a really well researched pragmatic book with little of the usual romantic double speak about wild flower meadows. A must for anyone interested in the English countryside and those wanting to provide insect rich habitats.