Silent Fields: The Long Decline of a Nation's Wildlife by Roger Lovegrove

By Roger Lovegrove

Due to the fact that time immemorial mankind has taken it upon himself to salary struggle opposed to nature - opposed to these species of birds and mammals which he believes clash along with his livelihood. This impressive e-book is ready that battle of attrition opposed to the local mammals and birds of britain and Wales shape the center a long time to the current day. there's frequent wisdom concerning the large decline in renowned species equivalent to track birds, farmland birds, otters, and pine martens, notwithstanding, there's much less realizing concerning the deep-rooted factors of those losses, or concerning the advanced courting among mankind and those species.Roger Lovegrove has undertaken years of targeted learn: through looking through parish documents of 'vermin' trapped, hunted, and killed over the generations, he has published an unprecedentedly exact and precise photograph of the heritage of a nation's flora and fauna, and of the usually devastating impression and extinction that we've got compelled on our ecology. which includes species-by-species money owed, followed by way of appealing, specially-commissioned illustrations, this e-book outlines the historical past - and sometimes the longer term, too - of a wealth of natural world species, from badgers, bears and beavers, to wolves, kingfishers, the golden eagle and the standard condo sparrow.The geographical scope is British, however the topic can be of curiosity to conservationists all over the world due to the targeted historic fabric that would be incorporated. the subject has huge, immense relevance this present day, as public quandary concerning the setting rises, and controversies rage approximately searching, flora and fauna administration and reintroduction of historical species.

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Their arrival was a huge milestone in the ecological history of these islands—the arrival for the first time of domesticated herds of grazing animals that competed with native herbivores and required open areas of pastureland as well as fenced enclosures, and needed shepherding to protect them from Wolves, etc. These Neolithic settlers were the first people who had to contest Nature seriously, to challenge it, and in essence to fight against the natural processes and eliminate competing creatures.

Such a landscape dominated much of the countryside for a thousand years or more. The footprints of these ridge and furrow systems still exist and are most readily seen in the heavy clay lands of the Midland counties. Slowly, over time, increasing areas were enclosed by new hedgerows or stone walls into fields of different shapes and sizes, overriding the old Saxon and medieval strips, to produce the pattern of countryside with which we are now familiar. The process of change had been ongoing for many years; even areas such as the Hampshire Downs were being brought into cultivation, using new husbandries, from the late seventeenth century.

Before the interference of Man, the Wild Boar was probably second only to Red Deer in numerical terms. The Wild Boar was principally seen as an animal of the chase although it was also probably killed by villagers to prevent undue damage to agricultural land and to avoid the risk of them hybridizing with domestic pigs. It was hunted in prehistoric times as archaeological evidence demonstrates and was certainly pursued by the Celtic peoples, Romans, and Normans. Reduction of woodland was doubtless one factor in the decline of an animal that is partly dependent on such habitat, but if Rackham is right, most of the deforestation had taken place before the Romans arrived.

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