Mark Cocker

Both Henry Williamson and Edward Thomas acknowledged their debt to Richard Jefferies (above)

Richard Jefferies: a naturalist under the microscope

3 February 2018 9:00 am

Alan Bennett once defined a classic as ‘a book everyone is assumed to have read and forgets if they have…

‘The Kindly Robin’: a Victorian Christmas card portrays the robin as a ‘good’ bird, despite it being aggressive by nature, and quick to see off intruders

Animals make us human

28 October 2017 9:00 am

There was a time when biologists so scorned the attribution of human qualities to other animals that anthropomorphism was seen…

Kathmandu is famously reputed to have more temples than houses, more idols than residents

Kathmandu — or don’t

7 May 2016 9:00 am

Although Nepal’s earthquake last April visited our television screens with images of seismic devastation, the disaster has probably had little…

Tracking the great Siberian tiger

23 January 2016 9:00 am

Of all charismatic animals, tigers are surely the most filmed, televised, documented, noisily cherished and, paradoxically, the most persecuted on…

Green is the colour of happiness

17 October 2015 8:00 am

According to this wonderfully thought-provoking book, human attachment to plants was much more evident in the 19th century than it…

The Clouded Yellow, especially vulnerable to cold, wet weather, is rare in Britain and usually confined to the South Downs and south coast

We all love butterflies — so why are we wiping them out?

1 August 2015 9:00 am

Last month, at Edinburgh School of Art, I was interested to come across a student who’d chosen Marlowe’s Dr Faustus…

New ways to destroy the world

6 June 2015 9:00 am

Despite the offer of joy proposed in the subtitle, this is a deeply troubling book by one of Britain’s foremost…

Cuckoo chick with wren parent

Why the cheating cuckoo may finally be getting its comeuppance

21 March 2015 9:00 am

In recent years there has been a fashion for so-called ‘new nature writing’, where the works are invariably heavy with…

A short-eared owl in the Highlands, one of many predators still being killed by gamekeepers

John Lister-Kaye tracks Highland wildlife through a pair of binoculars as he lies in his bath

7 March 2015 9:00 am

Sir John Lister-Kaye has adopted a very familiar format in his new book of wildlife encounters. Essentially he charts a…

Simon Barnes’s final chapters converge not at mammals, even less at primates, but at fish

From water-dwelling sponges to face-eating hyenas: the whole of life is in this book

15 November 2014 9:00 am

‘The meaning of life’, announces Simon Barnes in the opening pages of his new book, ‘is life, and the purpose…