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By: Andy Garnett, Polly Devlin and Chris Smith
128 pages, colour photos
Andy Garnett and his wife, the writer Polly Devlin, bought Cannwood Meadow in 1983. Realizing that this Somerset meadow, which has benefited from benign husbandry over many years, contains an amazing variety of wild flowers, grasses and rushes that provide feeding for moths, butterflies and other insects - some of them very rare - they asked English Nature if they would be interested in making a survey of the field. As a result of this survey Cannwood Meadow was nominated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) by the Nature Conservancy Council. This book presents an illustrated record of Cannwood Meadow through the seasons, an account of its ecology and a review of its plants, animal life and husbandry, compiled by the Garnetts with the assistance of botanist Dr Chris Smith. A special feature is that it includes reproductions of pressings of 108 plants, which can thus be examined in minute detail.
'Cannwood Meadow in high season looks like one of the fields in a medieval Flemish tapestry. It is striped, flecked, spangled and eyed like a peacock. It is every colour under the sun, a millefleurs revelation which makes one understand that the great tapestries of the Middle Ages are not artists' dazzling visions of the celestial fields, but accurate representations of what they saw around them.' (Polly Devlin)
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Andy Garnett is an engineer, a philanthropist and an optimist. He spent most of his professional life working in advanced tech industry and has lived in North America and Japan. His book Steel Wheels, a tribute to the world of railways, was published in 2005. Polly Devlin is an author, journalist, broadcaster, film-maker, art critic and conservationist. Once the Features editor for Vogue, she worked with David Bailey, Lord Snowdon and other famous photographers, and interviewed Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Andy Warhol and other major figures of the 1960s. An ardent conservationist, she and her husband Andy Garnett now live in Somerset. They have restored and planted thousands of trees there, and the site has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest. To visit the website of Polly Devlin click here.
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