There are so many books out there on wildlife, nature, plants and much more. They are fascinating, interesting and teach you so much of the natural world. I have always been a poor reader, something I am trying to actively change in my life to better my knowledge and enjoy a new hobby. Well I would defiantly say this has recently been working and I have a newfound love for reading. As you are aware, I am incredibly interested in nature, wildlife and doing things sustainable and being an eco-friendly individual. To inspire me with this I have been focusing on books about nature and our incredible world. Therefore, these are my top 5 nature books of 2022 that I have read, reviewed and which have changed my thinking or enlightened my life that I am recommending to you.
Hidden Life of Trees: What they Feel, How they Communicate: Discoveries from a Secrete World
by Peter Wohlleben
This is the first book I have picked up in my new quest to absorb written knowledge and I can tell you it is a great place to start. All I can say is, wow, there is so much to learn just about our forests and woods.. This book will teach you so much and an incredible amount you never thought would be related to trees. It is written by Peter Wohlleben, who is a German forester who has observed these woods, trees and forests his entire life. In this incredible fascinating book he teaches how tree help each other, migrate and communicate to each other in incredible and newly discovered ways. He goes into great depth of all the organisms that share the forests and how they help each other to thrive in the ‘survival of the fittest’ natural world.
It is clear that trees are immensely responsive to their environment and are social creatures that are vital to our survival. It is also clear that there is so much more to the little local woods to the major forests than you would have first thought. I believe there are two reasons this book fascinated me soo much. Firstly, I love nature and trees specifically, as they come in a huge array of sizes and shapes and just look incredible. Secondly, trees are hugely important to our survival and that of many, many animals, so deserve our admiration for this fact alone. If you want to learn more about the mystic woods, you use play in then I would defiantly recommend this book.
Wilding: The Return of Nature to a British Farm
by Isabella Tree
I have seen this book being recommend very highly for anyone looking to connect with nature. I will also be the first to say that this book does not disappoint. Written by Isabella Tree who along with the conservationist husband, Charlie Burrell transforms their farm from a struggling estate in Knepp to a thriving wildlife and nature haven. Along the way, as Isabella and her husband learn more about the ecology, she teaches this to us through the book, raising our awareness of the fragile habitats we and our wildlife lives in. This fascinating book goes through the impact of the farmland and the impact of the war through ‘dig for victory’. Alongside, the dependence on pesticides, herbicides and fertilisers. The book is an intriguing story of the farming industry and environment collapse in the UK and how Knepp is pulling themselves out of this by giving control of their land over to nature and its wildlife. I love how it delves into history and science relating it to nature and detailing how through the discoveries at the Knepp estate is changing the way we currently or up recently thought of our wildlife and the history of England's natural history.
Although I don’t agree with everything in the book and what they are doing at Knepp, it is a new perspective on rewilding and the history of our nature and ecology is refreshing and incredible intriguing. The book is thought provoking, changing how we farm, revitalise the soils and our entire ecosystem, which in turn improves our land increasing our food yields. If you read this book it will surely give you inspiration for the future of our farmlands and highlighting the huge importance for us to take note of the work done at Knepp. The only thing that bugs me is that I wish I could inherit a farm or a decent plot of land and follow in their footsteps, perhaps one day...
The Snow Leopard
By Peter Matthiessen
The magnificent snow leopard is my partners favourite animal. Easily understandable due to it being an isolated mysterious creature with a beyond elegant appearance. Due to this and it’s incredible rareness the snow leopard has become a fascinating most precious gem for people to find. Well this is what Peter Matthiessen does whilst assisting a friend on an exhibition to the Himalayas. He looks for the snow leopard with the same idealistic idea of hunting one down in one of the worlds most secluded places just to grasp a glimpse of its unrivalled magnificent, even if for just a few seconds.
The book mixes the sense of adventure, travel, both the highlights and the gruelling aspects with the spiritual awakening, self-reflection and desire to understand the world and personal enlightenment. Throughout the book he describes the incredible scenic views he witnesses along the extended trek to find mountain goats. All the while seeming to be so close, yet so far from the magnificent snow leopard. The journey takes them through picturesque scenes, as well to ancient temples, meeting mystic people and making friends, essentially everything you would want from an adventure.
The book is a leading inspiration for numerous naturalists, spiritualists and adventures alike. As well as a well written book that even helps with accepting failure through realising the incredible wonders and experience you can have. It is a book that makes you yearn for adventure, nature, wildlife and unrivalled scenes of beauty and is likely to ignite passion in anyone reading it to do the same.
Still Water: The Deep Life of the Pond
By John Lewis-Stempel
Now the books I have read so far has made me want to run in the fields, explore the ancient forests, and go on a mountain adventure. However, one thing was missing, the water. I have always loved bodies of water in any form, the sea, lakes, rivers or ponds. Therefore, I picked up this book which dives into the heart of the English countryside stable of the humble pond.
John Lewis-Stempel goes through the daily running at his farm and his frequent encounters with the pond there, another he visits in France, as well as a handful of others on his travels throughout a year across each season (Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn). As previously, I don’t agree with everything he does. However, I love his enthusiasm for the ponds he comes across that seem to give him a welcome escape from life. His interactions with these quintessential ponds makes me want to find one of my very own to enjoy. His use of words really manages to capture the essence of ponds, the feelings, the smells that bring back memories of my childhood adventures.
He also adds much to his book, through helping to identify what to look for and what you might be able to see, as well as what makes ponds so important. He takes this further through further detailing the history of ponds, how they were used, maintained and are a huge part of our heritage. The books gives you a great glimpse at ponds and all the life surrounding them, whilst also providing a number of poems to further create the countryside atmosphere. Ponds are clearly a strong beating heart to British wildlife. Even at the end John Lewis-Stempel goes into how to create a number of different ponds, plant them, maintain them and enjoy them, whilst also going into depth of how you can add features to further help wildlife to flourish. A great unique book.
Living Planet: The Web of Life on Earth
By David Attenborough
Now, I don’t know anyone who has not seen at least one documentary of David Attenborough’s. Also, whilst watching it not feel as though the cinematography had taken you to another world alongside the information and artistic language David Attenborough strings out helping to inform and intrigue you further into these varying worlds. Well the great Sir David Attenborough has brought this to the written word in this book, which just by his name alone should be enough of a recommendation, however, if not you should definitely pick this up and you will enjoy nature more and be even more informed about it.
This book goes through amazing aspects of the earth and the incredibly varying environments that are all unique, incredible and hold simply amazing creatures throughout our planet. The book beautifully brings these biomes from across the earth to life in perfect snapshots, detailing what it is like there and the animals that compete to live in these places. The more you get into it the more it will amaze you the different realms that exist right now, all while being informational and interesting. Would probably say it has been my most enjoyed book out of the 5 and one you should quickly snap up.
I would defiantly say that last year I have a newfound love for reading. I would say I am incredibly impressed with these first few books I have picked up and they have done so much to inspire me to keep reading and learning more about our natural world. They have taught me so much about the world we live in and the animals we share it with. Reading these books always brings new life in my fascination and amazement of nature and its wildlife and I would recommend each one of them to anyone who has the same interests and passions. Let me know what you think of these books and tell me what nature books you would recommend.