The Secret Life of an Arable Field looks at the ecosystem of an arable field, complete with photographs from crops, trees, hedgerows and wildflowers, to the wide variety of animals, farmland birds, insects, butterflies and moths that they support; and how they depend on each other; and are all vital for the wonderful environment we need to thrive and enjoy.
The book focuses on the relationship between these key species, how they work together and interact with their environment in order to survive. It is about the ecosystem and how they all link together, and how every species, no matter how seemingly insignificant, plays a vital part in the food chain and ultimate survival of all species. For every species referred there is a photograph detailing it, with over 120 colour images throughout the book.
The animals and birds that live within this habitat are reported on and the insects; including detailed analysis of bumblebees, honeybees and ants, as well as more hidden species such as the earthworm, are described in their role in life, with in-depth facts and photos. Wildlife, such as badgers, muntjacs, hedgehogs and fallow deer and their habits are detailed, along with birds that survive on farmland and are now sadly becoming rare. Included in this range are corn buntings, skylarks, goldfinches, kestrels, yellow wagtails and jackdaws, although there are many more.
The main aim of The Secret Life of an Arable Field is to give a detailed description of the private life of these creatures and show how they depend upon and work together in harmony, creating the environment that we are so adeptly eradicating. The UK government have set out a package of reforms to deliver 300,000 new homes a year by the mid-2020s.
Our havens of nature are being destroyed and this book will examine, with photographs and text, what really makes the field a special place, both for wildlife and humans alike.
Sophie McCallum has spent 20 years volunteering on Conservation Projects throughout the UK and Africa, including working with the Green Team at the Eden Project in Cornwall. Her interests took her in different directions, and she has worked extensively in horticulture, whilst completing a degree in Environmental Studies and Creative Writing at the Open University. The inspiration for this book was the field behind the houses where Sophie lives. Every summer there is an abundance of hollyhocks and wildflowers, and the sky is an azure and fluffy pink haze. She looks out onto it whilst she writes, complete with red kites circling in the air above her window. Of course, there are development issues, so she took to this theme with the intention of raising awareness of the beauty and function of the ecosystem which we all take for granted.