The Running Hare

The Running Hare

The Secret Life of Farmland

Summary

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'BRITAIN'S FINEST LIVING NATURE WRITER' - THE TIMES

The Sunday Times Bestseller - SHORTLISTED FOR THE WAINWRIGHT PRIZE 2017

Traditional ploughland is disappearing. Seven cornfield flowers have become extinct in the last twenty years. Once abundant, the corn bunting and the lapwing are on the Red List. The corncrake is all but extinct in England. And the hare is running for its life.

Written in exquisite prose, The Running Hare tells the story of the wild animals and plants that live in and under our ploughland, from the labouring microbes to the patrolling kestrel above the corn, from the linnet pecking at seeds to the seven-spot ladybird that eats the aphids that eat the crop. It recalls an era before open-roofed factories and silent, empty fields, recording the ongoing destruction of the unique, fragile, glorious ploughland that exists just down the village lane.

But it is also the story of ploughland through the eyes of man who took on a field and husbanded it in a natural, traditional way, restoring its fertility and wildlife, bringing back the old farmland flowers and animals. John Lewis Stempel demonstrates that it is still possible to create a place where the hare can rest safe.

Shortlisted for the Richard Jefferies Society White Horse Bookshop Prize 2016. John Lewis-Stempel was winner of the Thwaites Wainwright Prize 2015 for MEADOWLAND.

Reviews

  • He describes beautifully the changing of the seasons and the habits of animals such as the hares that make their home in his field. The book is a superb piece of nature writing.
    Ian Critchley, Sunday Times

About the author

John Lewis-Stempel

John Lewis-Stempel is a farmer and 'Britain's finest living nature writer' (The Times). His books include the Sunday Times bestsellers Woodston, The Running Hare and The Wood. He is the only person to have won the Wainwright Prize for Nature Writing twice, with Meadowland and Where Poppies Blow. In 2016 he was named Magazine Columnist of the Year for his column in Country Life. He farms cattle, sheep, pigs and poultry. Traditionally.
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