A groundbreaking new book from the author of The Running Sky and Four Fields, Landfill confronts our waste-making species through the extraordinary and fascinating life of gulls, and the people who watch them. Original, compelling and unflinching, it is the nature book for our times.
We think of gulls as pests. They steal our chips and make newspaper headlines, these animals, often derided as "bin chickens" are complex neighbours, making the most of our throw away species. In the anthropocene, they are a surprising success story. They've become intertwined with us, precisely because we are so good at making rubbish. Landfill is a book that avoids nostalgia and eulogy for nature and instead kicks beneath the littered surface to find stranger and more inspiring truths.
In Landfill, Tim Dee argues that rubbish tips can sustain life and offers an alternative view of how we should treat any animal that dares to live so closely with us.
"[...] As this book is not aimed at biologists but at a wider audience, those who dislike gulls will hopefully appreciate their occurrence in cities more by understanding our own waste-full behaviour. For biologists it is also certainly interesting and entertaining to read."
– Rosemarie Kentie, Ibis, 2020
"[...] Overall, I found Landfill mesmerising. If I had one criticism, it would be that at times I thought it was a little too eclectic. For instance, the section on searching for nightjars in Madagascar towards the end of the book felt almost like an offshoot too far. I would highly recommend this book though, and as an added bonus, it comes with attractive cover artwork and illustrations by Greg Poole. Landfill is a fantastic addition to any bookshelf."
– Viola Ross-Smith, BTO book reviews
"[...] Dee’s book is a wonderfully thoughtful and gently ironic meditation on “gull-life and gulling-life”, as well as our changing relationship with nature in the Anthropocene."
– PD Smith, The Guardian, 24/10/2018