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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.

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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
Academic & Professional Books  Conservation & Biodiversity  Conservation & Biodiversity: General

The Women Who Saved the English Countryside

By: Matthew Kelly(Author)
383 pages, 8 plates with 15 colour & 4 b/w photos and illustrations; 5 b/w maps
The Women Who Saved the English Countryside
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  • The Women Who Saved the English Countryside ISBN: 9780300270396 Paperback Apr 2023 Not in stock: Usually dispatched within 6 days
  • The Women Who Saved the English Countryside ISBN: 9780300232240 Hardback Apr 2022 In stock
Selected version: £11.99
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About this book

A vibrant history of English landscape preservation over the last 150 years, told through the lives of four remarkable women.

In Britain today, a mosaic of regulations protects the natural environment and guarantees public access to green spaces. But this was not always so. Over the last 150 years, activists have campaigned tirelessly for the right to roam through the countryside and the vital importance of preserving Britain's natural beauty.

Matthew Kelly traces the history of landscape preservation through the lives of four remarkable women: Octavia Hill, Beatrix Potter, Pauline Dower, and Sylvia Sayer. From the commons of London to the Lake District, Northumberland, and Dartmoor, these women protected the English landscape at a crucial period through a mixture of environmental activism, networking, and sheer determination.

They grappled with the challenges that urbanization and industrial modernity posed to human well-being as well as the natural environment. By tirelessly seeking to reconcile the needs of particular places to the broader public interest they helped re-imagine the purpose of the English countryside for the democratic age.

Customer Reviews


Matthew Kelly is professor of modern history at Northumbria University. He is the author of Finding Poland: From Tavistock to Hurzdowa and Back Again and Quartz and Feldspar: Dartmoor: A British Landscape in Modern Times.

By: Matthew Kelly(Author)
383 pages, 8 plates with 15 colour & 4 b/w photos and illustrations; 5 b/w maps
Media reviews

"As Kelly demonstrates, the achievements of these four preservationists deserve to be remembered and indeed celebrated [...] Kelly's book is rich with insights into their motivations [...] As well as exploring their lives and activism, Kelly guides the reader through the landscapes that they fought to preserve."
– PD Smith, The Guardian

"At last, the full and proper place of these women in the narrative of English conservation is established. And how much we can learn from them! As Kelly describes in his meticulously researched book, revealing intricate detail and fresh insight with every page, each was driven by a mix of personal passion, moral fervour and a sharp and often piercing intellect. We owe them so much. And now, thanks to Matthew Kelly, their story is told."
– Dame Fiona Reynolds, Former Director General of the National Trust

"The National Trust owes a debt particularly to Octavia Hill and Beatrix Potter, and the work we do today stands on the shoulders of all that they made possible. What unites all four women's stories is the firm belief in the benefits of nature for people. That's a mission with enduring relevance, and it drives me now just as it drove Octavia in the 19th century."
– Hilary McGrady, Director General of the National Trust

"A fascinating account of four courageous women who, often against the odds, helped to save the countryside and our access to it. This important book describes their motivations, influence, frustrations, and victories – and ensures that they are not forgotten."
– Kate Ashbrook, General Secretary of the Open Spaces Society

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