Chris Packham on Twitter (@ChrisGPackham): ‘If you read one book this summer make it ‘Inglorious‘ by @MarkAvery‘
Chris Packham from the Foreword to Inglorious: ‘I like Mark Avery’s outlook and attitude. He’s fairly unique among conservationists for two important reasons – he doesn’t sit on the fence,and he doesn’t pull his punches. Thus he isn’t afraid to say it like it is and doesn’t shy away from a fight.‘ and ‘So when we are told by the shooting fraternity that they are ‘looking after the uplands’ the joke simply isn’t funny any more. They burn it, drain it, poison it, denude it of any life that may possibly harm a grouse, and then kill the grouse themselves. How absurd.‘
Charlie Elder in BBC Wildlife magazine (who made Inglorious their Book of the Month): ‘expansive in scope yet forensic in detail‘ and ‘clearly reasoned and well-written‘ and that the idea of a ban on driven grouse shooting is a ‘powerful message and one that is increasingly capturing the public’s imagination‘.
James Attlee in the Independent ‘ Avery is a reasonable man; by his own admission “a wishy-washy liberal” who has engaged in fruitless years of dialogue with the grouse-shooting industry in his efforts to gain concessions. Once roused, however, he proves indefatigable. So far the political connections and powerful lobbying of the industry has maintained the status quo, but public opinion seems to have shifted ‘ see full review here
Ceri Levy in Caught by the river ‘Inglorious is a logical and well-conceived book and the only conclusion I can draw is that now is the moment to ban driven grouse shooting as a sport forever and then finally we can sort the moors out.‘ and ‘It is a whodunnit, a murder mystery in which we know who did it from the start but we stick with the author as he tells the story in such an engaging manner that we find ourselves within a tome which by turn is a social commentary, a wildlife disaster tale, a story of the haves and have nots, a history book of the UK and an explanation of what driven grouse shooting consists of and the measures taken to ensure its grisly success.‘ see full review here.
Raptor Persecution Scotland blog ‘compelling clarity‘ and ‘His isn’t the view of someone uninformed and with a shallow understanding, hitching a ride on the back of an increasing public awareness of ‘wildlife crime’; this is the view of someone with authoritative credibility earned through his intimate involvement over many years in UK nature conservation policies.‘ and ‘Inglorious bears all the hallmarks of Mark’s writing: engaging, intelligent, thoughtful, insightful, articulate, well-reasoned, fair and good humoured.’ see full review here.
Michael McCarthy in the Independent: ‘The conclusion of his riveting book is simple: driven grouse shooting requires the suppression of hen harriers, which is a crime, and so should itself be outlawed. The logic is impeccable.’ see full review here.
Charlie Moores on Birdguides: ‘It is a surgical dissection by a writer at the top of his game‘ and ‘Inglorious is a remarkable book. Established ‘sporting’ practices have rarely been challenged like this or come under such clear-eyed scrutiny — and even more rarely in a book aimed squarely at the everyday birder and general public rather than specialists. Anyone with the slightest interest in why we’re missing so many Hen Harriers from upland moorlands and why we’re increasingly hearing concerns about the state of some of our most beautiful countryside, really should read this book.’ see full review here.
Andy Stoddart on Rare Bird Alert: ‘The treatment … is comprehensive and authoritative, drawing on the author’s extensive personal experience as well as detailed research, and it is hard to disagree with his conclusions. ‘ see full review here.
Chris Packham in conversation with Charlie Moores on the Talking Naturally podcast: ‘What Mark’s done is to put the facts down on the page and so everyone can make their minds up. And I’ll be very surprised if they read that book and think that driven grouse shooting is still a good idea in the 21st century‘ and ‘The book is symbolic of the age that we’re living in. It’s an age of increased activism.‘
John Riutta, The Well-Read Naturalist: ‘To read Inglorious is to allow yourself to be challenged; challenged to think deeply, to interweave what were previously unconnected bits of information into intricate tapestries of understanding, to seek answers to questions that extend far beyond the upland heathered moors and into the heart of just what the conservation of nature truly means. It’s a challenge well worth accepting.‘ see full review here.
Buy direct from Blackwell’s – a proper bookshop (and I’ll get a little bit of money from them)