Wild Kingdom: Bringing Back Britain's Wildlife by Stephen Moss

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Wild Kingdom: Bringing Back Britain's Wildlife by Stephen Moss

Category: Animals and Wildlife
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sean Barrs
Reviewed by Sean Barrs
Summary: Despite how much wildlife has been lost in Britain, Moss argues that it is never too late to reverse some of the damage. The book offers plausible and convincing approaches on exactly how this can be achieved.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 304 Date: April 2017
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 978-0099581635

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Wildlife has been declining in Britain over the last few decades; it is an unfortunate by-product of human population growth, which in the modern world has increased significantly. Through this book Moss suggests a few ways in which we can start to bring back some of Britain's wildlife without compromising the human way of life: we can co-exist with nature.

Responsibility is the key with a strong emphasis on a more active approach to understanding the environment and ecology. Moss is very aware of the impact of farming on natural land, on the habitat(s) of wildlife, though he isn't about blaming the farmers. They have a job to do, a nation to feed, and a quota to meet to ensure profit. What Moss instead suggests is that environmentally friendly methods can be adopted by farmers, methods that wouldn't damage their profits too heavily, but would also ensure the survival of wildlife. He wants to work with the farmers, with the nation, and strive for mutual improvement.

For example, he suggests that space is the key. He draws on case studies, studies in which farmers have left hedgerows on their land and natural foliage on the outskirts. In these instances the population of wildlife has increased, insects have been attracted to the plant life and then predators have soon followed. This has increased sightings of rare birds on such land. Small, simple changes are, indeed, very effective. However, one oversight I noticed was a lack of consideration for farming more sustainable things. Improving the methods is always good, but if we can farm more productive alternatives then it would eliminate much of the problem.

If such ideas and responsible practices can be applied on a larger scale, to our forests, to our rivers and to the oceans, then there would be wider spread improvement. Wildlife numbers would increase. The real looming threat though is global climate change and its effect on the natural world. If this isn't addressed, then no minor improvements will have any effect. Moss rightfully recognises this, though it is not the focus of his book. The ideas he gives are changes that we can reach for on a societal level, ones that would install a sense of responsibility the globe needs to adopt. The writing is eloquent and highly detailed; it's the words of a man who loves the wildlife of Britain, and one who laments the fact that so much has been lost.

However, the most successful element of the writing is its power to debunk the myth that Britain's countryside is ripe and green. The reality of the situation is that it was once ripe and green, but our way of life has changed this greatly. Even now though there is a chance to change this. The book is rich in optimism, a hope that things can and will get better if we work for it. And therein is the rub: do we want it? Moss offers a compelling case for improvement, an excellent account that is both passionate and informed. It's hard not be convinced by the argument he offers.

If you are interested in books about environmentalism and nature then it is worth reading Ethics for a Full World or, Can Animal-Lovers Save the World? by Tormod V Burkey or The English Countryside (Amazing and Extraordinary Facts) by Ruth Binney.

Buy Wild Kingdom: Bringing Back Britain's Wildlife by Stephen Moss at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Wild Kingdom: Bringing Back Britain's Wildlife by Stephen Moss at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Wild Kingdom: Bringing Back Britain's Wildlife by Stephen Moss at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Wild Kingdom: Bringing Back Britain's Wildlife by Stephen Moss at Amazon.com.


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