A Naturalist’s Shetland (Poyser Natural History)

Regular price £45.00

Shetland is a spectacular group of islands with a varied geology, a wonderful landscape and a special flora and fauna, peopled by a culture distinct within the British Isles. An isolated group, it has evolved several variants of species found elsewhere in Britain and forms a migratory waystation for birds in transit from the north to wintering grounds on the more temperate British mainland. In addition it supports a number of northern birds reaching their southern limit and therefore very uncommon on the British mainland. Some of Britain’s largest seabird colonies occur there supported by the rich ocean surrounding, also a haven for porpoise, whale and seal. Though fast changing, the crofting still leaves ample space for wet meadows rich in wild flowers, long vanished from more intensively managed farmland further south. This is only the second book to describe all the wildlife of these islands and the first to comprehensively cover their history since the last Ice Age, as well as the Norse influences from Scandinavia. Written for the general reader and keen naturalist, it is lavishly illustrated with colour and other photographs, maps and diagrams and graced with evocative sketches by John Busby. As well as describing the wildlife in all its forms, attention is paid to the recent effects of the fishing industry, oil production and the inevitable clash of traditional and modern industries. The costs and benefits of today’s economy, both to the people and the natural scene are critically observed. Shetland remains one of Britain’s natural treasures. No visitor to the islands can fail to be helped in their understanding of this very special place by this very special book.