The Running Hare

By: snowgood

Feb 07 2020

Tags: ,

Category: birds, books, literature, Nature

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Focal Length:4.25mm
Shutter:1/0 sec
Camera:iPhone 11

I’m still catching up with my pile of books from Christmas.

This one is by man after my own heart.

John Lewis-Stempel runs his own farm, and spends quite a bit of time writing.

In “The Running Hare” we learn all about the traditional ways of growing wheat, and how to take a species weak 4 acre field into something teaming with wildlife.

As I carry out my crazy long distance Trails across the UK I’m often dismayed by the lack of bird life.

Why so? Since World War farming has switched from being led my labourers and horses, to being all about maximum output to give the supermarkets produce at affordable prices.

Are the farmers letting us down?  Are they letting the countryside down?  All too often they are, but the real problem is higher up.

You might think it’s the Government that’s promoting high yields at any cost, but in reality the agricultural community is in the grips of the big chemical companies that have a spray for anything!

So how good is the book? Well, I’d much rather hear John’s thoughts on farming without quite so much supporting evidence within the main body of text (and appendix at the back perhaps instead).

Whilst it’s interesting to know Shakespeare wrote about common plants that are now virtually extinct I don’t think it helps the story along.

There’s some really good in here though, I never knew a “Hodge” was a farm labourer, or that Hare eat their own pooh!

Having seen a Sussex hare a few weeks back I share John’s enthusiasm for these wonderful creatures.

I’m also prepared to accept that Rooks and Crows do more good than harm.

I’m totally with him on the fact that Springwatch cheapens the appreciation of wildlife too!

Overall Rating: 4 out 5


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