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This is an utterly charming history of life at Yew Tree Farm, North Cheshire, over the last eighty years. Beginning in the era when shire horses pulled the plough and country news passed from mouth to mouth at the blacksmith's forge, it explores a world and a way of life that has now vanished. Many readers will know Walter as a family man, farmer, councillor (and often counsellor), but this witty, shrewd and honest account shows a new side - a country writer in the same league as Cobbett, White and Herriot. These delightful tales travel through the war years, when prisoners of war from Dunham worked at the local farms and American trucks careered through Walter's fields, to the local 'hops' of the 1950s - you could always tell a farm girl by the mark her wellies made just below her knees - and through to the modern day, when the M6 and M56 motorways altered the shape and sound of the landscape forever.Illustrated with more than seventy photographs, full of memorable characters, from tramps, land girls and country vicars to Mrs Jones and her infamous swear box, and with sections on local institutions such as Chelford Market and Knutsford Young Farmers' Club (of which Walter has been a member for nearly sixty years), this book will delight anyone with an interest in life in the country as it used to be - and as it is today.
When the Scottish writer John McNeillie died on the 24th June 2002 aged 85, he left behind a legacy of over 40 books, several of them minor classics, and several decades of weekly journalism in the dentist's favourite sedative, Country Life. Almost all were written under his pen name, Ian Niall. He made his debut at the age of 22 when Putnams published his novel Wigtown Ploughman: A Part of His Life in 1939, a Scottish classic that caused a national controversy and provoked improvements in social conditions. In later life John McNeillie did not like to be reminded of his 'ferocious account of peasant life in Galloway', as one fan described it! He saw himself differently, an essayist and a recorder of landcape and natural life. It is certainly here that McNeillie's output is best represented and where his well crafted prose reveals the eye and the ear of a poet, a gift for telling a good story and just something of the realism that haunted his first book. The natural history essay was his true m├ętier as found in such volumes as The Poachers's Handbook (1950), Trout from the Hills (1961) and his memoir A Galloway Childhood (1967). Drawing on these and others of his non-fiction books, and including the chapter of his first novel, his daughter, Sheila Pehrson, has put together an anthology that both showcases his talent and reveals the world that shaped the writer he became. John Kincaid McNeillie was the eldest son of Robert McNeillie and Jean McDougall. It was during an epidemic of meningitis, in which his younger sister died, that the infant John McNeillie was despatched from the family home near Dalmuir to be in the care of his paternal grandparents. North Clutag was the farm tenanted by his Grandfather in Wigtownshire and it was here in a horse-drawn time-warp, a world closer to the 19th century and the world of Robbie Burns than to the twentieth-century, that he was to spend the formative years of his life. Although this was a childhood marked out by separation, dislocation and loss it was also a childhood that tied him into the natural world, seasonal change, and the rhythm of farming life. It was a time he would always describe as idyllic and which he celebrated in his writing, just as Richard Jefferies and others had done before him. John McNeillie was made a Doctor of Letters by Glasgow University, for his contribution to Scottish literature, in 1998.
The Book of Iona shows how novelists, poets, saints and sinners over the centuries have written about one of the world's most famous and best loved islands. Including many new, specially commissioned Iona stories and poems from writers including Meg Bateman, Jennie Erdal, Meaghan Delahunt, Candia McWilliam, Ruth Thomas and Alice Thompson, this anthology also contains a treasure trove of earlier material, from poems attributed to St Columba in modern translations by Edwin Morgan and Robert Crawford to amusing accounts of their visits to the island by Samuel Johnson, James Boswell and John Keats. In The Book of Iona, as on Iona itself, the sacred and the secular rub shoulders. Here is where a medieval Gaelic-speaking monk encounters Seamus Heaney, and where Robert Louis Stevenson sails past Queen Victoria. Full of surprises, this is an anthology that will delight every lover of Iona and all lovers of literature.
Frolic and Detour is a book that is at once engaged and engaging, woven with subtle threads of history and geography that represent not only our profound interconnectedness but the fragility of those very connections. Ranging as it does from poems that take as their subject matter the Native American leaders Joseph Brant and Mangas Coloradas, through the Great War, the Irish Rising, hunting with eagles, the house wren, to the day-to-day assault of twenty-first-century America, Frolic and Detour reminds us that the sidelong glance is the sweetest, the tangential approach the most telling. It also reminds us why, in his review for the New York Times of Selected Poems 1968-2014, Dwight Garner described it as 'a compact, powerful book, filled with catharses you didn't know you needed'.
The goal of this transdisciplinary book is to identify the problems and challenges facing implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) - from the global, regional and local points of view. The valuation and conservation of biodiversity are critical first steps necessary for the adequate protection of the environment. The authors give insights into the the influences the CBD exerts, and current trends in the field.
Linked to a television series of eight one-hour programmes about European nature and wildlife, this book explores the richness and beauty of the differing European landscapes. These vary enormously, from the arid southern lands to the cold northern wastes, from the high peaks to the grasslands, and from the deserted wilderness to the urban jungle. The book examines the plants and animals that coexist in each of these terrains, such as the wolf in Greece and Spain, polar bears in Norway and Sweden, the lynx and the tiger in Poland and Russia, and the brown deer in Bulgaria and Romania.

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