Book Review: What Nature Does For Britain by Tony Juniper

“It’s time to step up for nature” 


From the peat bogs and woodlands that help to secure our water supply, to the bees and soils that produce most of the food we eat, Britain is rich in ‘natural capital’. Yet we take supplies of clean water and secure food for granted, rarely considering the free work nature does for Britain. In fact for years we have damaged the systems that sustain us under the illusion that we are keeping prices down, through intensive farming, drainage of bogs, clearing forests and turning rivers into canals. As Tony Juniper’s new analysis shows, however, the ways in which we meet our needs often doesn’t make economic sense. Through vivid first hand accounts and inspirational examples of how the damage is being repaired, Juniper takes readers on a journey to a different Britain from the one many assume we inhabit, not a country where nature is worthless or an impediment to progress, but the real Britain, the one where we are supported by nature, wildlife and natural systems at almost every turn. 

My Review:

This is such an important piece of literature! I seriously cannot recommend this enough. This book has 9 insightful and scientifically accurate chapters, covering the ways nature benefits humans including: flood defence, pollination, Climate change offsetting carbon storage and well-being, to name a few.Tony Juniper writes a convincing argument for why nature should be prioritised in future political policies, which couldn’t be more relevant right now with Brexit right around the corner. 

The book itself is excellently written and carefully avoids jargon, making this a truly accessible book for everyone, scientifically trained or not! I enjoyed how each chapter had a different focus all tying into a cohesive theme. The use of case studies presents a solid argument for the protection of nature. For example, in 2000 The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) took ownership of an arable farm in Cambridgeshire. Since then the farm has implemented wildflower habitats, habitat for nesting birds and other nature friendly methods. The result? A profitable farm producing high yields and increasing native bird populations. Demonstrating that crop production and wildlife management can be mutually beneficial when managed appropriately*. 

Overall, I’m so happy to have finally picked up this book after my professor recommended it a few years back! I feel like my passion for the environment has truly been reignited.  Environmental education is so incredibly important, now more than ever, and encourage you to read this or another scientifically backed up publication, on the benefits of nature to the economy, health and happiness. Happy Reading!  

*Read more about Hope Farm here 

My Rating: 5/5

 “ Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”. 

Nelson Mandela

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