Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Our Place, by Mark Cocker

I've written on here before about my admiration for the writing of Mark Cocker. Crow Country and Claxton: Field Notes From A Small Planet are both superb books, full of pin-sharp observation of the natural world, conveyed through precise but luminous prose.

Birds and People, his book with photographer David Tipling, and Bird Britannica, its predecessor, are perhaps even bigger favourites of mine, the sort of volumes that I return to again and again, for education and inspiration.

But this latest book might be his most important yet, asking the question of whether we can save Britain's wildlife before it's too late, and suggesting some radical solutions. It arrived at the end of last week, and I'm looking forward to reading it over the next few days.

I should also declare an interest here. I once did a reading with Mark (and Katrina Porteous) in Norwich, and I was also lucky enough to go on a birdwatching trip to Papua New Guinea with him. Lines from one of my poems ('At Gedney Hill', from Troy Town), are used as the epigraph to one of the chapters here.

But that's by the by. If you have any interest in the wildlife of these islands, and its conservation, then this is a must.


Caroline Gill said...

Thanks, Matt, for the tip-off. I grew up near Claxton, and found 'Crow Country' a remarkable book, especially the descriptions of murmurations in the Yare Valley.

Poetry Pleases! said...

Dear Matt

Animal and bird species are already disappearing at an alarming rate. One of my 'Wild Aphorisms' is: 'God created the earth then, bored with it, created man in order to destroy it.'

Best wishes from Simon R Gladdish