A unique history of plant and animal invaders of the British isles spanning thousands of years of arrivals and escapes, as well as defences mounted and a look to the future. As Brits we pride ourselves as stoic defenders, boasting a record of resistance dating back to 1066.
Yet, even a cursory examination of the natural world reveals that while interlopers of the human variety may have been kept at bay, our islands have been invaded, conquered and settled by an endless succession of animals, plants, fungi and other alien lifeforms that apparently belong elsewhere. Indeed it's often hard to work out what actually is native, and what is foreign.
From early settlement of our islands, through the Roman and medieval period, to the age of exploration and globalisation, today's complement of alien species tells a story about our past.
"Fascinating [...] Eatherley has the unflagging curiosity of a Victorian explorer. The man seems to be indefatigable as he hacks away at Himalayan balsam (the pink, flowery weed that lines almost every riverbank in Britain) or goes on patrol for invasive signal crayfish in the River Barle. He's not afraid to get wet, dirty or tired on his mission to get up close and personal with intruders of all shapes and sizes. It feels as if we are on the front line with him."
– The Times
"[Eatherley's] approach to his complex subject is open-minded, nuanced, and free-ranging to the point of wildness"
– Sunday Telegraph
"Fascinating [...] the story of "invasive species" is really the story of human history, and [Eatherley] tells it with great verve"
– Daily Telegraph
"Eatherley has an impressive grasp of history – both human and natural [...] [and] Invasive Aliens provides a well-researched overview of this complex and controversial topic. There is plenty here to surprise as well as enlighten"
– Literary Review
"This book is a fascinating, comprehensive and thoughtful compendium of the flora and fauna that have reached our shores over the years. The apocalyptic vision of how so much of our native wildlife is being annihilated – from bluebells to red squirrels to crayfish – is tempered with hope: natives develop immunities and some invaders may even be an improvement. Invasive Aliens is full of extraordinary and often complex stories [...]"
– Robin Hanbury-Tenison, Countryfile, September 2019
"[Dan Eatherley,] a talented naturalist writing with a genuine passion for the subject, has tackled the daunting task of charting the history of alien species in Britain with gusto. The result is an engrossing and utterly entertaining book"
– British Deer Society
"A tale spanning thousands of years, entertainingly told"
– East Anglian Daily Times
– David FitzGerald, BBC Devon
"Fascinating [...] I'd highly recommend it"
– John Hudson, BBC Berkshire
"For science lovers it's a treat [...] [and] raises big and interesting questions"
– How It Works magazine
"Well-researched and highly enjoyable [...] The stories of how species got here are often fascinating and the analysis of our relationship with them is thought-provoking."
– Bee Craft magazine