To see accurate pricing, please choose your delivery country.
United States
All Shops

British Wildlife

8 issues per year 84 pages per issue Subscription only

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.

Subscriptions from £33 per year

Conservation Land Management

4 issues per year 44 pages per issue Subscription only

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.

Subscriptions from £26 per year
Good Reads  Insects & other Invertebrates  Insects  Butterflies & Moths (Lepidoptera)

The Jewel Box How Moths Illuminate Nature's Hidden Rules

Popular Science Coming Soon
By: Tim Blackburn(Author)
371 pages, b/w photos
The Jewel Box
Click to have a closer look
Select version
Average customer review
  • The Jewel Box ISBN: 9781474624527 Hardback Jun 2023 In stock
  • The Jewel Box ISBN: 9781474624541 Paperback Jun 2024 Available for pre-order
Selected version: £10.99
About this book Customer reviews Biography Related titles

About this book

Every morning, ecologist Tim Blackburn is inspired by the diversity contained within the moth trap he runs on the roof of his London flat. Beautiful, ineffably mysterious organisms, these moths offer a glimpse into a larger order, one that extends beyond individual species of moth, beyond Lepidoptera or insects, and into a hidden landscape.

Footmen, whose populations are on the march as their lichen food recovers from decades of industrial pollution. The Goat Moth, a thumb-sized broken stick mimic, that takes several years to mature deep in the wood of tree trunks. The Oak Eggar, with the look of a bemused Honey Monster, host to a large wasp that eats its caterpillars alive from the inside. The Uncertain, whose similarity to other species has motivated its English name. The Silver Y, with a weight measured in milligrams, but capable of migrating across a continent. A moth trap is a magical contraption, conjuring these and hundreds of other insect jewels out of the darkness.

Just as Michael Faraday’s iron filings arrange themselves to articulate a magnetic field that would otherwise be invisible, Tim shows us that when we pay proper attention to these tiny animals, their relationships with one another, and their connections to the wider web of life, a greater truth about the world gradually emerges into focus. In The Jewel Box, Tim reflects on what he has learned in the last thirty years of work as a scientist studying ecosystems and demonstrates how the contents of one small box can illuminate the workings of all nature.

Customer Reviews (1)

  • Ecology via moths
    By David 4 Jul 2023 Written for Hardback
    First point to make – the media reviews cited here are misleading – gushing and romantic this book is not. It is a hard-nosed treatise on ecological science using moths as pertinent examples. The author does a sound job in getting over some basic concepts and the use of particular moth species as examples is appropriate. The author is an expert on invasive species, hence he is well-equipped to discuss population dynamics and he explains the basics clearly without dumbing down. As a career bioscientist (not an ecologist) with a hobbyist interest in moths, I found the book stimulating and I enjoyed reading it. But I suspect it will not please everyone who has an interest in moths; you need to be interested in the scientific background as well as enjoy emptying your moth trap. Hence, the media reviews implying that it is a jolly good read are misleading. I'm glad I bought it, I'm glad I read it and I read it quickly. The author has one annoying habit – multiple references to future chapters – 'you will read more about this later' – got on my nerves a bit. But it's a good book, worth reading, but it's not a Matthew Oates-type read, nor a James Lowen adventure.
    13 of 13 found this helpful - Was this helpful to you? Yes No


Professor Tim Blackburn is a scientist with thirty years of experience studying questions about the distribution, abundance and diversity of species in ecological assemblages. He is currently a Professor of Invasion Biology at University College London, where his work focuses on alien species. Before that, he was the Director of the Institute of Zoology, the research arm of the Zoological Society of London.

Popular Science Coming Soon
By: Tim Blackburn(Author)
371 pages, b/w photos
Media reviews

"[An] excellent primer on ecology [...] a book that will appeal to those who have a fascination with moths and want to understand the world in which they live. Blackburn's passion for the subject makes this a digestible entrée into nature's workings"
– Iain Gordon, The Biologist

Interesting, informative and well-structured [...] an excellent book [...] brilliant. The author has taken a subject and tackled it with zeal"
– Tristan Gooley, The Telegraph

Beautifully written, accessible and essential reading for anyone curious about the workings of the natural world"
– Seirian Sumner, author of Endless Forms

"A delightful peek into the treasures of the moth trap. The Jewel Box is a manifesto to care for the individuals of our local ecologies, a heartfelt plea to see those creatures around us that share our air, our gardens and roof terraces. Passionately written, Blackburn shows just how our lives can be lit up by noticing theirs"
– James Canton, author of The Oak Papers

"An utter delight. A lucid introductory course in ecology [...] [Blackburn] deftly reveals some fundamental mechanisms of life on earth"
– George McGavin, Times Literary Supplement

"Tim Blackburn shows us that moths are more than bugs that invade outdoor lights and bathroom drains. Through Blackburn's scientific passion and insight, these relatives of butterflies teach us a lot about evolution, nature and the ecological consequences of our species, the real pests in the woollen chest of Earth"
– Jack E. Davis, author of The Bald Eagle and The Gulf

"Engrossing [...] [An] enchanting book, which not only celebrates moths but provides an introduction to the basic ideas of ecology and the study of the natural world"
– Nick Rennison, Daily Mail

"Not only is this a wonderful hands-on introduction to a diverse and enigmatic group of insects (moths), it is also an excellent primer on the basic principles of ecology, and crucially, the urgent need for humankind to live more gently on the Earth"
– Jonathan Balcombe, author of Super Fly and What a Fish Knows

"What more could we ask for? A dextrous and clear-eyed unveiling of the dizzying jigsaw of life. This is how the world goes round. The moth trap as snapshot of the global panorama. The stupendous spectacular stupefying 4 billion year miracle. Take notice"
– Keggie Carew, author of Beastly

"The moths in Blackburn's jewel box are like Blake's grain of sand: gems to be treasured not only for their beauty, but for the way their brilliance, captured during the dark of night, casts light on the complex whole of living nature [...] Nature lovers in search of a new hobby may be inspired to invest in a moth trap of their own"
Natural History magazine

Current promotions
New and Forthcoming BooksNHBS Moth TrapBritish Wildlife MagazineBuyers Guides