Claxton: Notes From a Small Planet by Mark Cocker

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Claxton: Notes From a Small Planet by Mark Cocker

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Category: Animals and Wildlife
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Luke Marlowe
Reviewed by Luke Marlowe
Summary: A gentle, delicate and beautiful little book full of observations about nature, Claxton is a read that manages to be both immensely relaxing and quietly moving. Full of wonder, beneath the quiet musings lies a passionate call to wake up and take note of all the wonders that nature continually perform around us.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 256 Date: October 2015
Publisher: Vintage
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0099593478

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In 2001, author Mark Cocker moved to Claxton, a small village in Norfolk that manages to be wonderfully remote, and yet only a few miles from Norwich. In a series of writings spanning the course of a year, Cocker quietly explores nature in the village, and his relationship to the living things around him, as well as the surrounding landscape. All written with a deep knowledge and a wonderful eye for detail, Cocker truly gets to the heart of the local wildlife and the local community.

It's no secret that I love nature books – possibly something that began when I moved from rural Lincolnshire to central London. It took me a while to adjust, and thankfully I soon noticed that even city centres are not remotely barren – none of us are ever far from wildlife at all, and yet I imagine most of us would struggle to name more than a few types of bird, or identify many insects from each other. Claxton is, thankfully, a book for all – nature fanatic or beginner, and is a gentle exploration of the wildlife and landscape that make up Cocker's home.

I know that within a few pages I was eagerly googling the various animals that Cocker mentions – eager to see with my eyes the creatures Cocker's stunningly lyrical phrases had drawn in my brain. Nothing goes unnoticed – a fly in a web, a toad in a dyke, a tree in a hedgerow. All are given consideration, care, thought, and affection – if you weren't in love with nature before, I can assure you that Mark Cocker will make you fall head over heels with this beautiful land. In fact, I intend to finish typing this and head straight to the park – and maybe for once I'll not stick my headphones in and hurry along, but look up and around, take my time, and marvel in what a wonderful world we live in.

Huge thanks to the publishers for the copy – and if like me you're inspired to head out into nature following this lovely little book, Mark Cocker has helpfully supplied a list of all the various species that he spotted in his parish – it may well be worth seeing if you come across any of those yourself!

For further reading, I would recommend While Wandering - A Walking Companion by Duncan Minshull. A cracking compendium, it features a foreword by Robert Macfarlane – whose books about nature are also most definitely worth a read.

Buy Claxton: Notes From a Small Planet by Mark Cocker at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Claxton: Notes From a Small Planet by Mark Cocker at Amazon.co.uk


Buy Claxton: Notes From a Small Planet by Mark Cocker at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Claxton: Notes From a Small Planet by Mark Cocker at Amazon.com.

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