On the southern fringe of Cambridge beside the Biomedical Campus a group of felds have become a haven for wildlife of the arable countryside, and above all for six threatened species of iconic farmland birds.
John Meed has studied these felds for over ten years, following the changing seasons and braving the elements in a quest to know better the remarkable birds and animals that live there, and to understand what makes the felds so special. In A haven for farmland birds he describes the remarkable behaviour, subtle communication and complex social lives of these fascinating creatures, how commercial farming can still be compatible with biodiversity, and how these green belt felds are under threat – all in his lucid and ‘transportive’ writing style.
John Meed is a writer, researcher and musician with a lifelong passion for wildlife in general and birds in particular. He conducts ecological surveys on behalf of the British Trust for Ornithology, the RSPB, and the UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme, and writes about ecology and the environment
"A rallying cry to promote and adopt the nature friendly farming approach you describe much more widely."
– Martin Baker, Conservation Manager of the Wildlife Trust
"I really applaud you for your efforts to observe these beautiful birds.You have grasped the complexity of a grey partridge's life cycle to the fnest detail. Beautiful."
– Francis Buner, Head of the Interreg North Sea PARTRIDGE project
"A wonderful piece of work. I thoroughly enjoyed it and it brought back memories of childhood wanderings through felds at home."
– Siobhan Smyth, Programme Leader for University Centre Reaseheath
"Fascinating. Story telling is awesome."
– Georgina Bray, Farm Manager, RSPB Hope Farm
"What a fabulous read! I learnt a lot."
– Guy Belcher, Biodiversity Offcer for Cambridge City