Cottongrass Summer by Roy Dennis

4 out of 5 stars

A copy of this was provided free of charge from the publisher in return for an honest review.

Roy Dennis has been working in conservation since 1959. In his time he has been the RSPB senior office in Scotland, Chairman of the Bird Observatory and is now President of the Trust. He has extensive knowledge of seabirds, migration and Scottish island wildlife. He is a specialist in raptor conservation and has been involved in many re-introductions and research into these magnificent birds. He has been a passionate exponent for the reintroduction of mammals such as lynx and beaver back to Scotland.

He begins with cottongrass, that plant whose snow-white blooms sway softly in the wind and in the right light can glow in the fields. But they are an indicator of the health of the landscape, seeing them means that the deer are not overgrazing and a balance is being restored.  In these fifty-two essays, loosely split into the seasons, are on subjects as varied as storks and bearded vultures, downpours and stoats. There is a theme that runs all through them though, and that is his passion for rewilding and bringing back those complex interdependent links between predator and prey.

Dennis goes through all his emotions about the state of wildlife in Scotland in particular and the and the world in general in this well-written book. There is genuine anger in here about the state of conservation bodies in this country and the lack of urgency to try and reset the way of life that in the long run, will benefit us all. He has long been active in all sorts of programmes to help with this, for example playing a significant role in the osprey, red kite, golden eagle and sea eagle introduction programmes. He re-iterates several times that 50% of the planet needs to be returned to a natural state for them and us to stand a chance of survival. Essential reading for those with an interest in restoring our landscapes to some of their former glory.

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  1. Liz Dexter

    Oh this sounds an excellent read, thank you for sharing.

    • Paul

      No problem at all, Liz.

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