The Sacred Combe: A Search for Humanity's Heartland
A special place, a place of your own, a secret garden where life is somehow more alive than it is outside. The place is wilder and yet kinder, the creatures that live here are less tame but somehow more confiding. It's both magical and holy. Call it Eden, Narnia, the secret garden: the need for such a place is part of the human condition. I've sought it all my life, as Alice sought the locked-up garden after she had fallen down the rabbit-hole. But I did better than she: I found the key, I opened the door and walked through it. I entered the Luangwa Valley in Zambia, and nothing was ever the same again.
Simon Barnes is, without question, one of our finest natural history writers. The Sacred Combe is the story of his relationship with the great imagined special place, and with the real Valley, where he awoke on his first night in camp to find elephants consuming the roof of his hut as a light snack. It is about our abiding longing for a wilder, less civilised life, and about finding it, and living it. It is about every person's relationship with the wild world, with all non-human life. Intensely personal in places, there are flashbacks to childhood, a few reflections on a book or a painting, some meetings with exceptional people – and above all the sense of being in the bush, being at peace and being prey, both at the same time.
The Sacred Combe is where we understand the species we share the planet with, and where we also begin to understand the species we happen to be. The Sacred Combe represents natural history writing at its very best.
- ISBN: 9781472914026
- Author(s): Simon Barnes
- Stock Code: 2914026
- Format: Hardback
- Pages: 256
- Published: 2016
Hardback £12.99Buy Now
Weaves together the story of Simon's life via the animals and the natural encounters that have shaped it. With humour and poetry, every page is fizzing with the author's infectious enthusiasm.
Paperback £8.99Buy Now
This title teaches you to how recognise song after song as the chorus swells. Starting with Robin, and ending up listening to Nightingales. You will learn something of the science of birdsong, the difference between song and call, the physiology of songbirds and what birdsong tells us about evolution. The aim is to give you a flying start in birdsong so that, after reading this book, you'll be listening to order, not chaos, to Bach, not white noise. You will be more aware of the wild world, and better able to understand it. Includes a free podcast.
Hardback £9.99Buy Now
by Simon Barnes
Anyone who has ever gazed up at the sky or stared out of the window knows something about birds. In this funny, inspiring, eye opening book, the author paints a riveting picture of how birdwatching has framed his life and can help us all to better understanding of our place on this planet. This title shows why birdwatching is not the preserve of twitchers, but one of the simplest, cheapest and most rewarding pastimes.
Paperback £9.99Buy Now
Richard Mabey had lived his whole life in the Chilterns; as a boy he had tramped the hills birdwatching and studying botany, and as a man he purchased a large wood which he studied in detail over the years. But when clinical depression struck he felt all was lost.
Nature Cure describes how he found courage to change habitat and a move to Norfolk where he started once more to look around him, showing how the British countryside increased his understanding of what really matters and restored his sense of delight. 240pp. 2008 edition