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The Collins New Naturalist series is the longest-running and arguably the most influential natural history series in the world. While the mainstream New Naturalist volumes were initially intended to deal with broad subjects such as wild flowers, insects or National Parks, a parallel New Naturalist series of monographs on single species or related groups of species was also published between 1948 and 1971. There have been no additions since. Now, for the first time in over forty years, these best-selling volumes are available again as facsimile versions, which are printed on demand. The Heron was first published in 1954. This edition is produced from an original copy by William Collins.
The New Naturalist monographs shared the same high standards of the main series and were envisioned as relatively short books of about 50,000 words, and in a smaller format than the main series. Artists Clifford and Rosemary Ellis were asked to design jackets for this series alongside the main series, which resulted in the same stunning, distinctive cover illustrations that had helped inspire an entire new generation of nature enthusiasts.