Eight nature books to change your life

The memoir explores how each bird’s eye view is a step toward the author finding her own voice, as well as a step into her family’s challenging journey. Every new bird that is discovered is also a “moment of peace” in the midst of the unrest from her mother’s deteriorating mental health crisis. Craig is also the founder of Black2Nature, an organization that runs camps, workshops and campaigns to make the conservation and environmental sectors ethnically diverse. “At my nature camps,” says the British-Bangladeshi author and advocate, “I teach children about nature engagement, how it makes them feel, and how they can use it to be more resilient and able to overcome problems. “

Birdgirl also explores how the mind-boggling act of bird-watching has made Craig more determined to campaign for the survival of the environment – and all of us. The memoir is a logical progression from her previous book, We Have a Dream, which explored how young indigenous environmental activists bring about change, and also explored our interdependence on nature. “We Have A Dream shows us that it is not too late to act and make a difference in rejuvenating nature as it waits for the chance to fight back,” she says, pointing to the example of Lesein Mutunkei from Kenya, which is included in the book. “His goals for trees are so clever, and yet so simple – show us that it’s not too late to get wild again and save ourselves from an ecological disaster.”

The idea of ​​renewal and rewilding works both ways, says Craig. “I think while many of the young people in We Have A Dream understand that our natural environment has an amazing ability to renew, self-repair and regenerate, their message was that people had trusted this for too long, and we were now at the point where the Earth had been pushed too far and could no longer regenerate.The hope from the book is not that our planet will recover if left alone, but that here was a young generation, who are fighting for great change.

“I believe that nature is really important to us as human beings and that it is important for us to remember that we are a part of nature, that while nature needs us, we also need nature.”

Tree of Life

The way we are nourished by the natural environment while nourishing it at the same time is also explored in a newly published volume of journals, with an introduction by Tilda Swinton, by the late film director Derek Jarman, Pharmacopoeia: A Dungeness Notebook. It tells the story of the creation of his garden in Dungeness, in a dry, windswept place near a nuclear power plant. “I planted a dog rose,” he writes. “Then I found a strange piece of driftwood and used this and one of the necklaces of hollow stone on the wall to bet the rose. The garden had begun. I saw it as a therapy and a pharmacopoeia.” The garden was an ever-evolving circle of stones, plants and sculptures created with fodder driftwood and floating, cultivated under the harshest conditions, and to this day remains a source of wonder for visitors.

This idea that nature has wisdom to teach us and lessons to convey is also found in The Great British Tree Biography, where Mark Hooper explores Britain’s history and folklore. It tells the stories of remarkable trees, from Knole Oak, immortalized by Virginia Woolf in Orlando, and in the video for the Beatles song Strawberry Fields Forever, to the oak tree on the Isle Maree in Scotland, which is said to provide relief from madness to visitors offering coins. The author says that after growing up in the countryside, the forest has always been his “happy place”. So what do these landmark trees tell us about history, life, and ourselves?

Some of the chapters in his book, Hooper tells BBC Culture, are about “the tree itself and what it stands for, as a metaphor for values ​​we hold dear. Robert the Bruce used a 2,000-year-old yew tree that grew through rocks on the coast of Loch Lomond, as a symbol of perseverance as he tried to lift the spirits of his retreating army in 1306. Only 200 men crossed the lake in a boat that could only hold three men at a time, and as they gathered on it on the other hand by the tree he compared its ability to survive against odds with their own. When Robert the Bruce finally won independence for Scotland after defeating the English at Bannockburn in 1314, many of his men wore twigs on their uniforms. “

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