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Birds, Wildlife and Gardening

Book review — The secret life of an Arable farm —

 This week I got sent a new book to review and it focuses on the wildlife that can be found in and around an Arable field showing the possible conservation and positives from this type of farming. An arable field is land that has been tilled and ploughed regularly, generally under a system of crop rotation. I had an 3 day weekend coming up and as the weather was wet and stormy plus I decided to cancel my wild camping plans in Wales it was the perfect time to relax and read this wonderful book written by Sophie McCallum.

The Field looks at the eco-system of an arable field, complete with photographs from crops, trees, hedgerows and wildflowers, to the wide variety of animals, farmland birds, insects, butterflies and moths that they support; and how they depend on each other; and are all vital for the wonderful environment we need to thrive and enjoy.

The book focuses on the relationship between these key species, how they work together and interact with their environment in order to survive. It is about the eco-system and how they all link together, and how every species, no matter how seemingly insignificant, plays a vital part in the food-chain and ultimate survival of all species. For every species referred there is a photograph detailing it, with over 120 colour images throughout the book.

The animals and birds that live within this habitat are reported on and the insects; including detailed analysis of bumblebees, honeybees and ants, as well as more hidden species such as the earthworm, are described in their role in life, with in-depth facts and photos. Wildlife, such as badgers, muntjacs, hedgehogs and fallow deer and their habits are detailed, along with birds that survive on farmland and are now sadly becoming rare. Included in this range are corn buntings, skylarks, goldfinches, kestrels, yellow wagtails and jackdaws, although there are many more. The main aim of this book is to give a detailed description of the private life of these creatures and show how they depend upon and work together in harmony, creating the environment that we are so adeptly eradicating. The Government have set out a package of reforms to deliver 300,000 new homes a year by the mid-2020s.

Our havens of nature are being destroyed and this book will examine, with photographs and text, what really makes the field a special place, both for wildlife and humans alike.

I really enjoyed learning about how special this type of farming can benefit the UK and its wildlife through creating a safe oasis for many different creatures. The book is a great companion to have when walking especially whenusing some of our public walking paths that passes through arable farmland, I am sure I’ll find myself sitting on a style in the sun at the edge of some really beautiful countryside with my copy of The secret life of an Arable farmland in hand looking at what creatures I may see and hear.

You can buy this book here

 Thanks for reading

Mike

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