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British Wildlife

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British Wildlife is the leading natural history magazine in the UK, providing essential reading for both enthusiast and professional naturalists and wildlife conservationists. Published eight times a year, British Wildlife bridges the gap between popular writing and scientific literature through a combination of long-form articles, regular columns and reports, book reviews and letters.

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Conservation Land Management

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Conservation Land Management (CLM) is a quarterly magazine that is widely regarded as essential reading for all who are involved in land management for nature conservation, across the British Isles. CLM includes long-form articles, events listings, publication reviews, new product information and updates, reports of conferences and letters.

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Good Reads  Habitats & Ecosystems  Forests & Wetlands


Series: British Wildlife Collection Volume: 5
By: Clive Chatters(Author)
384 pages, 250+ colour & b/w photos, 1 colour map, colour tables
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Average customer review
  • Backlist Bargains Saltmarsh ISBN: 9781472933591 Hardback Oct 2017 In stock
    £27.99 £34.99
Price: £27.99
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About this book

Saltmarshes are both highly dynamic and hugely diverse. In Britain, wetlands with salt-tolerant plants occur not only along the coast, but also surprisingly further inland, along tidal rivers and even roads, as a result of the spread of de-icing salt.

In this welcome addition to the current literature on the subject, Clive Chatters celebrates some of our most exciting and exceptional saltmarshes. Providing nursery sites for fish, feeding grounds for wintering birds and breeding grounds for waders, as well as supporting a huge variety of invertebrates, they are excellent spots for wildlife. Distinct zones of salt-tolerant vegetation communities and the great diversity of interfaces between saltmarshes and other habitats add to their appeal as a habitat that is worth exploring.

In addition to the floral and faunal highlights of these sites, Clive also outlines their history, international significance, and use by people as a source of food, recreation, and even for generating power. The consequences of this complicated relationship are a running theme, and impacts of factors such as grazing, industrialisation and coastal squeeze – where sea defences prevent saltmarsh from moving inland and escaping sea-level rise – among others are discussed. Saltmarsh concludes with an overview of the major trends in conservation management, including the artificial creation of new areas of saltmarsh, and a look towards what the future may hold for this important and often overlooked habitat.

Customer Reviews (2)

  • Lack of Detailed maps
    By Gill 3 Jan 2019 Written for Hardback
    Maybe I’m hard to please as the book is incredibly interesting but I find the lack of detailed maps very irritating. It would not be expensive and more information on the photos, names of birds around should not be difficult considering the amount of research done.
    Fortunately, we have the internet which I am forever referring to but even that isn’t specific enough at times with special names.
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  • Well researched and beautifully produced
    By Peter 22 Nov 2019 Written for Hardback
    This is the one in the series so far that I had been looking forward to reading the most. Clive Chatters clearly knows and loves his subject and this comes through in the level of detail and historical context that he includes. So why have I only given it three stars? My big problem with it, which kept cropping up time and again was that I longed for a greater understanding of the processes described as well as the locations of many of the sites discussed.

    For example. I found the section on Doggerland of particular interest, but I was left feeling how much more helpful to my understanding of it would have been to include a map describing the effects of sea-level changes over time?

    I'll hold my hands up to the charge that as a soft southerner, my geographical knowledge of Britain gradually fades beyond the mountains of Scotland and North Wales so the constant use of Gaelic and Celtic place names frequently had me resorting to Google Maps to clarify where it were that was being described, not always with success I might add. One such example occurs on page 131 in the Chapter on Bae Cerdigion (Cardigan Bay) where there is a photo of a place named Traeth Mawr a site we are told, for the elusive Welsh Mudwort. Google revealed two such place names on Anglesey which clearly were not the site concerned and only by rereading the text and noting that it mentions the Afon Glaslyn (which I then had to search for) could I decipher that it is actually near the town of Porthmadog. A map of key sites with each of the regional chapters would have been of so much help here.

    On familiar home ground I felt more comfortable of course but I suspect that if not familiar with the south some readers from further north or west might struggle as I had done with placing some of the sites around the Solent, Thames and the Severn. The chapter on the later and the discussion on seawalls puzzled me also in the absence of any comment on the effects of the Bore which surely must have a significant impact on the intertidal.

    All in all, though this well researched and beautifully produced book is an important addition to the series but be prepared to find yourself metaphorically wandering about in some far-flung corner of Britain wondering where exactly you are.

    Finally, I'd like to finish on a positive note by giving great credit to the book in getting me up and out this summer to search out the site of the lost salt spring at Marcham in Oxfordshire. Less than 5 miles from my home I had never taken the time to visit until now. On private land, much dried out and having suffered the effects of years of land drainage the spring has to all intents vanished, but with the efforts of the landowner I am pleased to report that there still persists a thriving population of wild celery.
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Clive Chatters is a naturalist who has worked for over 35 years as a nature conservationist in the counties adjoining the Solent. He has held positions in both the statutory and voluntary conservation sectors, taking time off to assist in establishing the New Forest National Park. Author of a variety of publications from scientific reports to magazine articles, he has also written several books including Flowers of the Forest, an exploration of the botany of the New Forest through its history and rural economy, and Wild Hampshire and Isle of Wight, to commemorate the golden jubilee of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust.

Series: British Wildlife Collection Volume: 5
By: Clive Chatters(Author)
384 pages, 250+ colour & b/w photos, 1 colour map, colour tables
Media reviews

"[...] Saltmars are muddy, out of the way, forgotten places; somewhere between the land and the sea, perhaps where the normal rules do not apply. Clive Chatters does not shy vay from this perception in this excellent book but takes us on a fascinating geographical and historical tour of the major salt marshes of Britain, exploring the physical and conceptual boundaries of one of our rarest habitats. [...] There are fascinating and painstakingly researched asides [...] although not covered in depth the particular value of saltmarshes to invertebrates and great diversity of species associated with them is fully recognised in this book [...] This [...] is an excellent read and should appeal to all general naturalists, saltmarsh enthusiasts and students of conservation alike ."
– John Sproull, Atropos 61, 2018

"Saltmarsh is the fifth book in the recently started British Wildlife Collection and, like the previous four, it is well researched and well-illustrated throughout and uses a similar narrative style. It contains a wealth of information about its subject matter, focusing on the wildlife, history, development and past and future conservation of this marginal coastal habitat. [...] The book is interesting to read and will be enjoyed by those who enjoyed the previous volumes and/or have an interest in this particular habitat."
– Ian Woodward, BTO book reviews

"I hate to sound like an amorous drunk, but I have to admit that I bloody love the British Wildlife Collection. The series is only slowly building up, but the five published books cover interesting topics, are beautifully produced, with a layout that complements the numerous colour photographs that authors are allowed to deploy, and reasonably priced in relation to the high production values. Clive Chatters has maintained the standard in this excellent new book which deals with an often remote and slightly inhospitable habitat that attracts wildlife in droves. As the series names suggests, the focus is strongly on British examples but the author roams the country widely and brings the marshes he visits vividly to life. Splendid stuff. I bloody love it."
– Alan Crowden, BES Bulletin, Volume 48(4), December 2017

"I expected this book to be an ecological account of the habitats of ‘tide and time’. And so it is, but it is much more than that. After outlining a much broader concept of saltmarsh, and covering plenty of its ecology, the bulk of the book is concerned predominantly with history – but a unique history from the perspective of the saltmarsh. [...] A substantial chunk of the book is devoted to detailing the initiation and evolution of the conservation movement, in which saltmarshes, mainly because of the important bird communities which they support, played, and continue to play, a pivotal role. [...] Each of the 21 chapters presents a different story for which Chatters selects a different saltmarsh system from around Britain to demonstrate his point. [...] Chatters writes with authority and eloquence on an enormous range of topics and draws from an impressive range of sources [...]. All are meticulously yet unobtrusively cited in the text such that the story is not disrupted. He discusses contentious issues non-judgementally"
– Ros Bennett, British Wildlife 29(1), October 2017

"Saltmarshes are often remote, inhospitable places, neither land nor sea, as hard to pin down as they are to navigate. In this saline odyssey, Clive Chatters has explored his favourite creeks, pools and mudflats to bring us an absorbing celebration of the ecology, biology, geology and history of this scarce and mysterious habitat. There are Tadpole Shrimps, and rare sedges, waders and Wild Celery – even inland saltmarshes – in this tour de force by a superb naturalist and writer."
– Brett Westwood

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