#BookReview ON GALLOWS DOWN by NICOLA CHESTER #NonFiction @chelseagreen



ABOUT THE BOOK


Part nature writing, part memoir, On Gallows Down is an essential, unforgettable read for fans of Helen Macdonald, Melissa Harrison and Isabella Tree.

Nicola Chester won the BBC Wildlife Magazine’s Nature Writer of the Year Award – this is her first book.

The story of a life shaped by landscape; of an enduring love of nature and the fierce desire to protect it – living as part of the rural working class in a ‘tied cottage’ on a country estate – and what it takes to feel like you belong.

On Gallows Down is a book about hope – from the rewilding of Greenham Common after the missiles left to how, as a new mother, Nicola walked the chalk hills to give her children roots, teaching them names and waymarks to find their way home. It is about the songs of the nightingale and cuckoo – whose return she waits for – the red kites, fieldfares, skylarks and lapwings that accompany her, the badger cubs she watches at night and the velvety mole she finds in her garden.

And it is also the story of how Nicola came to write and to protest – unearthing the seam of resistance that ran through Newbury’s past, from the Civil Wars to the Swing Riots and the women of the Greenham Common Peace Camps and to the fight against the Newbury bypass. A resistance that continues today against the destruction of hedgerows, trees and wildlife through modern farm estate management.

On Gallows Down is perfect for fans of H is for HawkThe Salt Path and Featherhood.

‘It is impossible to write with integrity about nature without protesting and resisting and waving a desperate red flag.

Isn’t it?’


PUBLISHED BY CHELSEA GREEN PUBLISHING


PUBLICATION DATE – 7TH OCTOBER 2021

PRE-ORDER LINKS


Publisher Website

Amazon


MY REVIEW


This is a book that inspires you to appreciate the nature around us as the author does a wonderful job of combining her personal experiences over the years, amidst the backdrop of the ever changing world we find ourselves living in.


This is a memoir of Nicola Chester, who has found herself protesting over the years to protect the environment in various locations whilst bringing up her family, and doing what she can to pass on the knowledge and love of wildlife and nature to her children and those around her. I have nothing but admiration for this woman after reading about her life experiences, and how she writes so passionately about the natural world. Her enthusiasm is infectious and I share the same anticipation as her awaiting wildlife sightings whilst you’re out for a walk.


I knew very little about some of the areas she talks about, but she brings them to life with her writing style and I also found myself googling pictures of the area to get more of a feel for the areas that meant so much to her over the years, and those areas that she fought so passionately to save and protect.


With her husband, she moved around the country over the years due to various job changes and there’s always that connection to nature and the outside world that allowed her to cope with change – the nature around always seemed to give her hope and it was lovely to see her passing that interest on to her children as she had them exploring local areas with her.


There’s lots of fascinating information about the wildlife she sees and how the changes in areas has impacted on the animals and their habitats, as well as the history of places she lived in, that it made for an absorbing read, and one that has made me more determined to do what I can for local areas and wildlife so that more can be protected and saved for future generations.

★★★★★


Thank you to the publisher, Chelsea Green Publishing, for the advanced reader copy in return for a fair and honest review.

#BookReview REBUGGING THE PLANET by VICKI HIRD @chelseagreen #nonfiction #environment #wildlife



ABOUT THE BOOK


This is a lovely little book that could and should have a big impact. ..Let’s all get rebugging right away! Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

Meet the intelligent insects, marvellous minibeasts and inspirational invertebrates that help shape our planet – and discover how you can help them help us by rebugging your attitude today!

Remember when there were bugs on your windscreen? Ever wonder where they went? We need to act now if we are to help them survive. Chris Packham, Isabella Tree and George Monbiot are but a few voices championing the rewilding of our world. In Rebugging the Planet, Vicki Hird adds her voice to this chorus, explaining how our planet is headed towards ‘insectageddon’ with a rate of insect extinction eight times faster than that of mammals or birds. Rebugging the Planet gives us crucial information to help all those essential creepy-crawlies flourish once more.

Hird passionately demonstrates how insects and invertebrates are the cornerstone of our global ecosystem. They pollinate plants, feed birds, support and defend our food crops and clean our water systems. They are also beautiful, inventive and economically invaluable – bees, for example, contribute more to the UK economy than the Queen!

Rebugging the Planet shows us small changes we can make to have a big impact on our littlest allies:
Learn how to rebug parks, schools, pavements, verges and other green spaces.Leave your garden to grow a little wild and plant weedkiller-free, wildlife-friendly plants.Take your kids on a minibeast treasure hunt and learn how to build bug palaces.Make bug-friendly choices with your food and support good farming practices. Begin to understand how reducing inequality and poverty will help nature and wildlife too – it’s all connected.

So do your part and start rebugging today! The bees, ants, earthworms, butterflies, beetles, grasshoppers, ladybirds, snails and slugs will thank you – and our planet will thank you too.


PUBLISHED BY CHELSEA GREEN PUBLISHING
PUBLICATION DATE – 16TH SEPTEMBER 2021


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PRE-ORDER LINKS


Waterstones

Blackwell’s


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MY REVIEW


With over 40% of insect species at risk of extinction the time has come for us to pull together and help the little critters out! And this book is the perfect guide and call to arms for us all to get rebugging and all play a part in doing our bit!

The author speaks with tremendous passion for all things creepy crawly, and has been an environmental campaigner for a number of years and is now sharing her thoughts on just how serious the situation is for bugs and humans. Without them we’re screwed!! And she explains why throughout the book which really helps you understand how they all help in their own little ways.

It touches on the staggeringly scary way humans have impacted on the wellbeing of insects and the environment. BUT we have a chance of turning it round and this book has a wealth of ideas and hints on how we can change our attitudes towards insects and instead of reaching for the pest control or screaming ‘eeewwww’ at them, we begin to encourage them and work with them in our spaces – be it a garden, windowbox, park, school grounds…let your children play with worms! Teach them to love them and not fear them!

I’m happy to say that I am a great fan of wildlife in my garden so do all I can to encourage as much in as possible, and this book has introduced me to new ideas and ways of rebugging and rewilding my garden so I’m excited to put some of them into action and has made me more determined to do all I can to keep my garden as wildlife friendly as possible!

The author also shares ways of using less harmful products indoors as well – it all adds up to helping the environment and I found it to be a really enlightening read and will be dipping back in and out to try out more ideas and learn more about these amazing little creatures! There’s lots of information to think about and act on!!

The perfect book for those already interested in wildlife and the environment, or those just setting out to learn some practical ways to help out!


★★★★★


My thanks to the team at Chelsea Green Publishing for the advance reading copy in return for a fair and honest review.

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