Welcome to our annual round-up of the books and equipment we have enjoyed reading and using this year, all chosen by members of the NHBS team.
My choice this year is a set of image stabilised binoculars from Kite. Having used them, it’s difficult to go back to a standard pair as they really make it very easy to focus on the wildlife and enjoy the behaviours seen instead of having to work at holding the binoculars steady. I spent many days out on boats scanning the sea for cetaceans and wished that I had had these for those trips. This is a great example of where technology is improving the ability to view wildlife accurately.
Simon – Technical Advisor
Otherlands, the debut of Scottish palaeontologist Thomas Halliday, presents you with a series of past worlds. Though this is a non-fiction book thoroughly grounded in fact, it is the quality of the narrative that stands out. Beyond imaginative metaphors to describe extinct lifeforms, some of his reflections on deep time, taxonomy, and evolution are simply spine-tingling.
Leon – Catalogue Editor
Beak, Tooth & Claw is my choice for this year’s staff picks as it’s an informative and thought-provoking analysis of our relationship with predators in the UK. This controversial and often highly charged debate is skillfully handled, with tales of Mary Colwell’s face to face encounters with predators as well as conversations with scientists who study them, wildlife lovers who want to protect them and the people who want to control them. I highly recommend this book for anyone who loves our predator species and wants to know more about one of the greatest challenges facing conservation today – how, when and where to control predators.
Hana – Marketing Manager
The BeePot Bee Hotel has been a perfect addition to our little urban garden! The flowering plants and nesting place have encouraged solitary bees. Loss of suitable habitat is one of the main causes of pollinator decline and Green & Blue design many products that are centered around providing a home for wildlife. Not only is the BeePot beautifully and sustainably made, but it also helps support pollinators and makes a lovely gift for anyone who loves insects or gardening!
Alex – Wildlife Equipment Specialist
I bought this for my son as a present, he is obsessed with Monopoly and Dinosaurs. It is a great alternative to the traditional Monopoly and we loved the dinosaur pieces and the way you place tents and jeeps instead of houses and hotels.
Mark – Product & Purchasing Manager
As a biologist, I was already familiar with the theory of keystone species and the important role they have in shaping their local habitat and wider ecosystems. However, Benedict Macdonald really brings this to life in Cornerstones, offering us a beautifully descriptive view of how our country could look, should we choose to reintroduce those species that are so vital for its health and diversity. His writing perfectly blends scientific theory with visceral imagery to both inspire the mind and capture the imagination. This book left me feeling tentatively hopeful for what our small green island could once again become.
Luanne – Senior Editor
We love our National Trust Apex Insect House! About eight months ago, we installed it slap bang in the sunny middle of our orchard among trees and shrubs, and have since seen a great buzz around it. The variety of bamboo and wooden tubes in this house-shaped box, as well as the pine cones in its attic, create all kinds of dwelling for insects big and small. Here’s a tip: perseverance is key. Pop it in a nice, sheltered spot in the midst of greenery, then give it a little time and your residents will come.
Sabine – Customer Services Advisor
This activity book was a huge hit with my son on his birthday. It’s bursting full of a range of activities that kept him occupied for ages. It’s great value for money and really good quality.
Jess – Purchasing Coordinator