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The Running Hare: The Secret Life of Farmland (Paperback)
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The Running Hare: The Secret Life of Farmland (Paperback)

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£8.99
Paperback 304 Pages / Published: 20/04/2017
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The Sunday Times Bestseller from the Winner of the Thwaites Wainwright Prize 2015.

Shortlisted for the Wainwright Golden Beer Book Prize 2017

The Farmer is to blame. The Supermarket too. And let us not forget the Politician, and the Consumer. Let us not omit Me or You.

Really: I just want the birds back.

Traditional ploughland is disappearing.

Seven cornfield flowers have become extinct in the last twenty years. Once abundant, the corn bunting and the lapwing are on the Red List. The corncrake is all but extinct in England. And the hare is running for its life.

Written in exquisite prose, The Running Hare tells the story of the wild animals and plants that live in and under our ploughland, from the labouring microbes to the patrolling kestrel above the corn, from the linnet pecking at seeds to the seven-spot ladybird that eats the aphids that eat the crop. It recalls an era before open-roofed factories and silent, empty fields, recording the ongoing destruction of the unique, fragile, glorious ploughland that exists just down the village lane.

But it is also the story of ploughland through the eyes of man who took on a field and husbanded it in a natural, traditional way, restoring its fertility and wildlife, bringing back the old farmland flowers and animals. John Lewis Stempel demonstrates that it is still possible to create a place where the hare can rest safe.

'Fans of Lewis-Stempel's bestselling Meadowland will find here the same easy-reading prose fuelled by daft-as-a-brush enthusiasm and embellished with lyrical flourishes ... the mud-spattered details of a farming life lend The Running Hare a unique realness.' - The Mail on Sunday 

Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
ISBN: 9781784160746
Number of pages: 304
Weight: 242 g
Dimensions: 198 x 127 x 19 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

'He describes beautifully the changing of the seasons and the habits of animals such as the hares that make their home in his field. The book is a superb piece of nature writing.' - Ian Critchley, The Sunday Times 

'That John Lewis-Stempel is one of the best nature writers of his generation is undisputed.' - Country Life 

'Englightening and stylish...Readers who enjoyed the author's last book, Meadowland: The Private Life of an English Field, will find much in the same vein here: a mix of agricultural history, rural lore, topographical description and childhood memories. I learned a good deal.... Lewis-Stempel is a fine stylist, adroitly conjuring scenes in which "medieval mist hangs in the trees" or "frost clenches the ground"...' - Sara Wheeler, The Observer 

'A beautifully written paean to the countryside in all its rich diversity.' - PD Smith, The Guardian 

'A beautifully observed book, full of poetic descriptions. Brilliant and galvanising.' - The Sunday Express 

'Lewis-Stempel is a fourth-generation farmer gifted with an extraordinary ability to write prose that soars and sings, like a skylark over unspoiled fields. This wonderful book (a worthy follow-up to his brilliant Meadowland) is a hymn in praise of enlightened farming methods which reject lethal chemicals and allow insects, birds and flowers to thrive, as once they did. As an experiment Lewis-Stempel rents an ordinary arable field (his own property is a hill farm) to plough and manage in the old-fashioned way, transforming it into a traditional wheatfield to attract wildlife. Even - he hopes - hares. The work is back-breaking but the rewards are sublime. Like the hares, Lewis-Stempel's words dance.' - Bel Mooney, The Daily Mail 

'Fans of Lewis-Stempel's bestselling Meadowland will find here the same easy-reading prose fuelled by daft-as-a-brush enthusiasm and embellished with lyrical flourishes ... the mud-spattered details of a farming life lend The Running Hare a unique realness.' - The Mail on Sunday 

'A beautiful love letter ... to a wheat field [and] a pleasurable read' - BBC Countryfile 

'A stirring rural fantasia...Lewis-Stempel's heart and mind are absolutely in the right place. I salute him and I adored his appreciation of the quirky detail.' - The Times 

'This rather beautiful book is very much in the mould of the new nature writing, but it's also wondrously inspiring.' - Marcus Berkmann. The Daily Mail

'There's a quiet ferocity running through [The Running Hare], powerful yet subtle, refreshingly practical and quotidian ... There is a raw honesty to this book.' - TLS 

'Even better than Meadowland, The Running Hare is funny, erudite and a delight from start to finish. John Lewis-Stempel knows the land, loves it - and works it. He is a farmer, muddy-booted and diligent, who effortlessly recreates on the page the intimacy with the natural world that his daily rounds bring. But farming is also the enemy in his piece - the farming of the mega-tractor and the sprayer, the farming that has, during his lifetime, quietly destroyed the greater part of the country's flora and birdlife. The Running Hare is an important book, as richly layered and rewarding as the soil of an unimproved field.' - Philip Marsden

'A beautifully written paean to the countryside in all its rich diversity' - The Guardian

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Hardback

“The Running Hare”

The Running Hare does for ploughland what Meadowland did for meadows! Its a wonderful look at a small patch of arable land set in the glorious Herefordshire countryside, and the animals and birds that are drawn in by... More

Hardback edition
26th February 2016
Helpful? Upvote 108

“Running hare”

Sorry its a Christmas Present, haven't read it yet, but it got interesting reviews and I like the author's other works.

Hardback edition
15th June 2016
Helpful? Upvote 75

“Memorable book”

I thought this was a wonderful book, spell-binding. Fascinating content from first page to last. Beautifully written in the same poetic prose as the author's other excellent offerings, full of relevant quotes... More

Hardback edition
4th April 2017
Helpful? Upvote 64

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