Farming and Wildlife (Collins New Naturalist Library, Book 67)

 
9780007308439: Farming and Wildlife (Collins New Naturalist Library, Book 67)

Farming and Wildlife argues forcefully that wild species are, in fact, beneficial to the land as a whole: without them its productivity will fall and farming will inevitably suffer. This edition is exclusive to newnaturalists.com

Farming and wildlife affect each other in many, often subtle, ways. Yet most recent developments in farming have been harmful to wild plants and animals. As the land is made to yield more, so rare species become rarer or extinct, and even common ones are now absent from large areas of the country. This timely and provocative book argues forcefully that wild species are, in fact, beneficial to the land as a whole: without them its productivity will fall and farming will inevitably suffer.

The main changes in farming practice and their environmental effects are dealt with systematically. Successive chapters discuss arable cropping, grassland management, animal husbandry, hedgerow removal, land drainage and the use of pesticides. Considered also are the care of the soil and its inhabitants - important and often overlooked forms of wildlife - possible damage to livestock by diseases of wild animals, and the effects of hunting and shooting. Professor Mellanby writes throughout with an understanding of the problems of both farmers and conservationists. This is a most persuasive account of why they should now work together to preserve the countryside's fauna and flora.

Professor Kenneth Mellanby is the author of the highly acclaimed New Naturalist volume Pesticides and Pollution. He is the Founder-Director of the Monks Wood Experimental Station, which was the main research station of the Nature Conservancy, Chairman of the Watch Trust, President of the Cambridgeshire branch of the Ramblers Association, and has for many years been closely involved in all aspects of farming and conservation.

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Review:

‘A forthright and dispassionate account of what is happening to 80 per cent of the land in Britain . . . with the inevitable conflict between farming and conservation clearly presented.’
The Naturalist

About the Author:

(1908–1993). Entomologist, scientific administrator and writer. Author of Pesticides and Pollution (1967), The Mole (1971) and Farming and Wildlife (1981), and editor of the New Naturalist library 1971–86. Read natural sciences at London University and obtained doctorate at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (1933). Began career as a medical entomologist at the London School 1933–45, investigating causes and cure for scabies with the help of a band of volunteers in Sheffield. Spent latter part of war in Burma and New Guinea investigating transmission and control of scrub typhys. Resumed academic career as Reader in Medical Entomology at London University, then as first principal of University College, Ibadan in Nigeria 1947–53, for which he received a CBE (1954). Head of Entomology, Rothamsted 1955–61, then first director of Monks Wood experimental station, 1961–75, in both roles warning of unwanted side-effects of persistent pollutants, especially pesticides, and advocating biological methods of pest control. Mistrusted the doomsayers of the Green movement, but forcefully argued for more sustainable farming; in his view environmental problems stemmed from inefficiencies of livestock farming.

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