I count the author of this book as a friend and therefore you might want to discount all the good things I am going to write about his excellent book – please don’t do that.
Professor Andrew Balmford FRS is one of just a handful of UK academics who understands nature conservation through doing it, talking to people who do it and thinking hard about it. As such, his book is likely to be worth reading, and it is.
The title comes from the author’s wish to concentrate on good news stories, and so he chooses conservation success stories from each continent to build a picture of ‘Yes we can!’ nature conservation. The subtitle of ‘On the front lines of conservation success’ makes this approach clear.
Each of his chosen case studies is described with clarity, with personal experiences and through conversations with the main protagonists.
I first read the American example, of red-cockaded woodpeckers, longleaf pines and the Endangered Species Act. It is fascinating, I learned a lot and it made me think about nature conservation approaches. Each chapter will do the same to you.
And I am glad that Andrew tells some of the story of the campaign to protect nature close to his home in Ely with which he has been considerably involved. He would probably quite like me to plug this event which is a fundraiser for more local action.
This book is an uplifting read. It should be on the bookshelf of all conservationists, as all conservationists sometimes need cheering up! It is thoughtful, well-written and thought-provoking.
Wild Hope by Andrew Balmford is published by the University of Chicago Press. How much you pay for it will depend on what format you buy it in and how clever you are at tracking down discounts. There doesn’t seem to be a price for a book anymore. I haven’t seen it over-priced anywhere – it’s worth it.
- Posted in: Book review