If you live in or around Maldon in Essex, or you visit regularly, then you should have this book. It is well-written, well-produced and will tell you much about your local environment. You get a lot about birds in these pages but also interesting information on the changing status of mammals, invertebrates and plants (though the plant content is quite low). The author, and his supporting team, tell the reader about good walks, good pubs, how the wildlife of this area might change in the coming years and how to make your views known locally as a wildlife supporter. If I lived here, I’d definitely want this book and would refer to it a lot, and read it for pleasure as well as for information.
Clearly, we don’t all live in Maldon, or even in Essex, or in England so what does such a book offer to more geographically distanced readers? I found this an interesting read – the changes in our global and national wildlife are made up of local changes. This book which concentrates on the first 20 years of this century chronicles the local changes in wildlife and they are interesting to the outsider, like me, in being a more detailed snapshot of what I can see around me too.
The cover? That’s Byrhtnoth who died in the Battle of Maldon on 10 August 991. I like the ducks flying past who resemble those ceramic ducks which once were found on walls – perhaps they still are in Maldon? I’d give it 6/10.
Wildlife of Maldon: the natural history of a riverside town by John Buchanan is published by Gannet Rock Books.