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This is the first survey of the islands' natural history, complete in one volume. Because Orkney is exceptional, it is vital reading for the serious naturalist, as well as for being a comprehensive and absorbing guide for every visitor. This edition is exclusive to newnaturalists.com
Orkney is a very special place for naturalists. Closer to Oslo than to London, its geography and climate create quite distinct environmental conditions - even though it is only six miles from the Scottish mainland.
On these islands of fierce gales, long summer days and long winter nights, the wildlife has adapted in intriguing ways… Starlings adapt to ground-nesting…local sheep eat seaweed…and there are voles exclusive to Orkney. Here is one of the very few areas where the rare and delicate Scottish Primrose thrives…where you find the British stronghold of the Hen Harrier, and vast colonies of seabirds and seals.
This is the first - and long-needed - survey of the islands' natural history, complete in one volume. Because Orkney is exceptional, it is vital reading for the serious naturalist, as well as for being a comprehensive and absorbing guide for every visitor.
In his tracing of the island's evolution from its geological creation to the effects of oil technology; in the detailed, yet fascinating exploration of the plants and animals (and where best to see them), Professor Berry's expertise and enthusiasm is backed by that of local specialists, and Orkney's long tradition of natural history study. Appendices include definitive lists of all the species of flora and fauna on record, and an extensive bibliography.
Praise for R. J. Berry:
‘[Berry’s] superb Islands has taken 20 years to come from commission to publication – and it has been a professional lifetime in the living … It's the mixture of science and romanticism that gives Islands its charismatic texture: hard-won data, garnished with passion and fancy.’ Robert Macfarlane, Guardian
‘A magnificent review of what makes British and Irish islands special for wildlife, written in an engaging and readable style by one of our foremost geneticists.’ Stephen Moss, Guardian
'An excellent exposition of the hows of natural selection and inheritance.' Jeremy Cherfas, New Scientist
'Professor Berry's profoundly important book is a worthy addition to the ecosystem, being in its form just as much as its theme an expression of the diversity of creation, and an excellent subject for natural selection.' Richard Mabey, The Times
'Another new title in that quality New Naturalist series from Collins is Inheritance and Natural History, by R. J. Berry, a liberally illustrated examination of genetics largely in the British native flora and fauna, aimed at showing the ways in which inherited variation can help to explain the properties of natural populations. A complicated subject but made a lot clearer for the lay reader by Professor Berry's selection of subjects and examples.' Coventry Evening Telegraph
About the author
R. J. Berry was Professor of Genetics at University College London from 1978 to 2000. He has been President of the Linnean Society, the British Ecological Society, the European Ecological Federation, and the Mammal Society. He is the author of Inheritance and Natural History, Natural History of Shetland (jointly with Laughton Johnston), Natural History of Orkney and Islands, amongst numerous others.