Not all species and habitats are created equal. And as we face the Sixth Mass Extinction, not all will survive. But if some crucial wild forces cannot be saved, the wildlife of our world as we know it will collapse. Not generally or abstractly, but right here, in our cherished home: the British Isles.
From familiar earthworms and honey-bees to long-lost natives like beavers and boars, nine wild forces hold the key to the future of our island: its wildlife, its soils, its wilderness, and its people.
How do beavers craft wetlands, save fish and toads, encourage endangered butterflies, and stop rivers from flooding? Why are wild boar the best butterfly conservationists of all? How do mushrooms allow trees to talk? How do oaks, as they die, create more life than anything alive? And what really happens when honey bees finally go extinct?
Cornerstones explores nine vital wild forces that shape Britain like no other and tells the story of their survival from their perspective. Never again will you pass an ancient willow without thanking it. Never again will fishers curse the beavers that create their fish stocks. Cornerstones will transform your gratitude to the natural world forever as you recognise the cornerstone forces that support the wild lives we all love and appreciate.
Chapter one - Boar
Chapter two - Birds of Prey
Chapter three - Beaver
Chapter four - Whales
Chapter five - Bees
Chapter six - Cattle and Horses
Chapter seven - Trees
Chapter eight - Lynxes and Wolves
Chapter nine - Humans
Benedict Macdonald is a television producer, award-winning nature writer and conservationist. Having studied wildlife since a very early age, he pursued a career in natural history film-making and has worked on series including The One Show, Springwatch, The Hunt and as a field director for the Emmy-award winning Our Planet; a conservation series narrated by Sir David Attenborough, which premiered on Netflix in 2019. Since then, Ben has worked as a producer on international wildlife shows for Apple (Tiny Worlds, Earth at Night) and Disney.
As a writer, his first book, Rebirding, highlighted the need for mass-scale nature restoration across the UK, and was the winner of the Richard Jefferies Prize & inaugural winner of the Wainwright Conservation Prize 2020. His second book, Orchard: A Year in England's Eden, co-written with Nicholas Gates, was published by Harper Collins in August 2020.
As a conservationist, Ben has remained at the forefront of public discourse on rewilding, nature restoration, regenerative farming and the widespread reintroduction of lost species to the UK. He is affiliated to a number of organisations including the RSPB, Wildlife Trusts, National Trust, Beaver Trust, Rewilding Britain and his own organisation, Restore. Ben studied at Christ Church, Oxford, and lives & works in Bristol.