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The countryside pond is the moorhen's reedy home, the frog's ancient breeding place, the kill zone of the beautiful dragonfly. More than a hundred rare and threatened fauna and flora depend on it.
Written in gorgeous prose, Still Water tells the seasonal story of the wild animals and plants that live in and around the pond, from the mayfly larvae in the mud to the patrolling bats in the night sky above. It reflects an era before the water was polluted with chemicals and the land built on for housing, a time when ponds shone everywhere like eyes in the land, sustaining life for all, from fish to carthorse.
Still Water is a loving biography of the pond, and an alarm call on behalf of this precious but overlooked habitat. Above all, John Lewis-Stempel takes us on a remarkable journey – deep, deep down into the nature of still water.
John Lewis-Stempel is the author of The Wild Life, Meadowland, Where Poppies Blow, The Running Hare, The Secret Life of the Owl, The Wood and most recently, The Glorious Life of the Oak. He has twice won the Wainwright Prize for Nature Writing, for Meadowland and Where Poppies Blow, and was shortlisted for The Running Hare, which was also shortlisted for the Independent Bookshop Week Book Award and the Richard Jefferies Society Award. He writes a column on nature and farming for Country Life and was the 2016 BSME Magazine Columnist of the Year. He lives on the borders of England and Wales with his wife and two children.
"Britain's finest living nature writer"
– The Times
"Lewis-Stempel is a superb observer [...] he also has an original turn of phrase; colourful, but not overwrought [...] by then end he has shown with some flair that in the pond there are wondrous, multitudinous life forms. And curious cruelties"
– Robbie Millen, The Times
"Great nature writing needs to be informative, detailed, accurate, lyrical, and, above all, to instil a sense of gratitude and wonder. John Lewis-Stempel succeeds in all these things triumphantly. From amorous toads to the eye-popping mating habits of water boatmen, a magical celebration of pond life by one of our finest, most evocative nature writers."
– Christopher Haart, Daily Mail Scotland