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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 (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  Insects & other Invertebrates  Insects  Butterflies & Moths (Lepidoptera)

The Butterfly Isles A Summer in Search of Our Emperors and Admirals

Nature Writing
By: Patrick Barkham(Author)
384 pages, 12 plates with colour photos
Publisher: Granta
Selected as a book of the year in the "Guardian", "Independent", "Daily Mail" and "Sunday Times"
The Butterfly Isles
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  • The Butterfly Isles ISBN: 9781783784585 Paperback May 2018 Not in stock: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks
  • The Butterfly Isles ISBN: 9781847083159 Paperback May 2011 Out of Print #191573
  • The Butterfly Isles ISBN: 9781847081278 Hardback Oct 2010 Out of Print #187153
Selected version: £10.99
About this book Customer reviews Biography Related titles

About this book

Butterflies animate our summers but the 59 species found in the British Isles can be surprisingly elusive. Some bask unseen at the top of trees in London parks; others lurk at the bottom of damp bogs in Scotland. A few survive for months while other ephemeral creatures only fly for three days. Several are virtually extinct. This bewitching book charts Patrick Barkham's quest to find each of them – from the adonis blue to the dingy skipper – in one unforgettable summer.

Barkham brings alive the extraordinary physical beauty and amusingly diverse character of our butterflies. He witnesses a swarming invasion of painted ladies, experiences the curse of the purple emperor, makes a euphoric sighting of an exceedingly rare migrant and as summer draws to a close, suffers from butterfly burnout. He meets some deeply knowledgeable and eccentric butterfly obsessives and reconnects with lovely, overlooked corners of our countryside. As he goes, he looks back at the butterfly collectors of the past and ahead to a future in which many of our butterflies will struggle to survive on an overcrowded and overheating island.

Customer Reviews


Patrick Barkham was born in 1975 in Norfolk and was educated at Cambridge University. He is a features writer for the Guardian, where he has reported on everything from the Iraq War to climate change. He is the author of Badgerlands: The Twilight World of Britain's Most Enigmatic Animal and Coastlines: The Story of Our Shore. He lives in London and Wells-next-the-Sea in Norfolk.

Nature Writing
By: Patrick Barkham(Author)
384 pages, 12 plates with colour photos
Publisher: Granta
Selected as a book of the year in the "Guardian", "Independent", "Daily Mail" and "Sunday Times"
Media reviews

"Hurrah for butterfly anorak Patrick Barkham. In his brilliant book, which will bring a song to the heart of all nature lovers, he describes how he set out – successfully – to spot every one of Britain's 59 native butterflies in one action-packed summer"
– Val Hennessy, Daily Mail

"A beguiling book [...] [Barkham] criss-crosses Britain, recording his search in a vivid, adept, unapologetic voice, wonderfully catching the spirit of these ethereal creatures"
– Richard Mabey, Guardian

"This engaging and idiosyncratic account was not vritten for the experts [...] Those of us who find it hard to identify any species beyond the red admiral and the cabbage white will be astonished by the details of the teeming natural world that we so blindly inhabit"
– Margaret Drabble. Daily Telegraph

"Still more enviable than Barkham's single-mindedness is his sense of wonder [...] Enraptured, visionary, witty and erudite"
– Jonathan Keates, Sunday Telegraph

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