Steve's Herpetological Blog

An insight into the life of Steve, his research and the many books he reads

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#StevesLibrary: What Nature Does for Britain

As promised on Instagram, here is the post you’ve all been waiting for! With Brexit looming, I thought it would be a good idea to learn more about the ecosystem services that take place on our doorstep. It’s also important to recognise what is at stake and how these vital habitats can be saved/restored. I’ve previously read What Has Nature Ever Done for Us? by Tony Juniper, as he is now Chair of Natural England I’ll be sure to read more of his books in the near future as I enjoy his writing style and style of information dissemination.

Through the pages of the book we go on a journey across the UK from habitats such as peat bogs and woodlands, which are important in helping to store and secure our water supply, as well as locking up unimaginable amounts of carbon from the atmosphere. The book opens with a personally important topic, bees and other pollinators. Now you may be thinking why, I have a simple answer: beer and cider. Without these essential services, I and millions of others couldn’t enjoy a nice cold pint on a Friday night. This is just one of the many examples that Juniper highlights, we also take our supplies of clean water and food for granted.

Unfortunately also highlighted throughout are the years humankind has damaged the systems that sustain these free natural services. However it is not all doom and gloom as extensive restoration efforts have shown with some TLC and changes in farming practices that these habitats can bounce back. We’ve drained bogs, cleared forests and turn up farming to 11 but the damage may not be permanent. Told through a number of vivid first hand accounts and inspirational examples, Juniper shows us how pioneers are helping to turn the tide on this damage.

Anyone working in conservation in the UK, definitely needs to read this book! It is truly eye opening and I personally feel that it contains a large wealth of information that should be public knowledge or taught as part of a national curriculum. It is also vital in helping to enthuse the next generation to care about nature and to carry on in our footsteps!

You may have seen a few new changes to the blog recently (other than the layout change). You can now find my Amazon Wishlist and GoodReads Book Recommendations in the right side-bar of each article. As there has been some interest in the past, I decided to create a specialised wishlist for all the books I got my eye on – feel free to check it out if you’ve got the time or the money. I’m slowly going to be adding my reviews and ratings to GoodReads so keep an eye on that one too! If there is anything else you’d like to see, please do let me know!

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