Britain's wild places host a remarkable variety of beautiful fauna but they are not the only locations boasting such richness. The private nature reserves better known as gardens also attract species galore, many of them often unnoticed. With wildlife coming under pressure in so many places, these havens have the potential to play an ever-increasing role in nature conservation.
Books on the wildlife found in gardens are almost two a penny nowadays but very few of them focus on individual gardens with their ups and downs, showing the species that live there or visit. Even fewer pay much attention to species beyond the obvious 'cuddly' ones led by mammals, birds and butterflies.
Published in 2013, My Side of the Fence - the Natural History of a Surrey Garden sets the record straight by putting in clear focus the wealth of wildlife seen in a family garden in Reigate over the last 50 years. In hardback and measuring 170mm x 240mm, the 256 pages, with a Foreword by Professor David Bellamy, contain over 500 colour photographs of 350 species ranging from large mammals to tiny bees, wasps, flies and beetles. Accompanying the images are full lists of species recorded, including 13 mammals, 53 birds, 22 butterflies, 82 bees, 77 wasps and 58 hoverflies. A good proportion of these are scarce locally or nationally. There are also details of observed behaviour, analysis of population changes and suggestions about how wildlife may be drawn into a garden.
My Side of the Fence offers a unique and eye-opening opportunity to anyone who cares about wildlife or gardens. Copies are available in the United Kingdom at £20 plus £3 postage and packing from Jeremy Early at 30 Park Lane East, Reigate, Surrey RH2 8HN. For purchasers in the Republic of Ireland or mainland Europe, the price of the book is 24 euros, plus postage and packing.
Please e-mail My Side of the Fence with your details and any queries. Cheques or postal orders should be made payable to Jeremy Early and sent to the address above. Payment may also be effected by card through PayPal, providing I have your email address for invoicing purposes. No personal information from anyone contacting me will be shared with other agencies. For every sale, £1 will be donated to Surrey Wildlife Trust.
Images © Jeremy Early. All rights reserved.
"Your book looks fascinating and I know I shall learn a lot from it" SIR DAVID ATTENBOROUGH
"I've never seen a better natural history book" PROFESSOR DAVID BELLAMY