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Home Nature Sunday book review – INN Search of Birds by John Lawton – Mark Avery

Sunday book review – INN Search of Birds by John Lawton – Mark Avery

by Pennsylvania Digital News


This is a fun book by a birder and one of the UK’s most eminent population ecologists. Prof Sir John Lawton CBE FRS has won numerous awards for his science and was the chair of a group which produced an important report known, as the Lawton report, Making Space for Nature, which recommended that England needed more, bigger, better and more joined up spaces for nature.

I haven’t seen Prof Lawton for years but, knowing him a bit, I would say that he is interested in a great many things and that’s why he can compile a book about pubs with bird names to sit alongside a mountain of learned reports and scientific papers. There are signs of the scientific approach in these pages (with the equivalent of a methods section and some criteria for inclusion and exclusion) but this book is completely accessible to the non-scientist.

This book will interest those who like beer and birds and provides the information for an elongated pub crawl around over 700 pubs and 117 species of bird. I can almost imagine a few birders embarking on a Big Beer Year with this book in their hands.

The author wanted the book to be accurate, fun and quirky – I can’t comment on the first but it certainly qualifies on the second and third criteria.

The cover? I think it is a bit too busy. I think I’d have lost a few inn signs so that the survivors could be larger and I’m not sure that a blue background works that well. But it gives a good idea of what you’ll find inside. I’d give it 6/10.

Inn Search of Birds: pubs, people and places by John Lawton is published by Whittles.

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