The aim of this series is to interest the general reader in the wildlife of Britain by recapturing the enquiring spirit of the old naturalists, encouraging unusual and original developments of forgotten or neglected facets of British natural history. Collins are delighted to announce the republication in facsimile form of the first editions of the very first volumes in the New Naturalist Library. Originally planned in the darkest days of World War II and first published in 1945, this series is the longest running nature series in the world. It is a reflection of the quality of the authors and the books they wrote, that they are still sought after 73 years later. The books will be identical in every way to the original first editions, including the iconic jackets by Clifford and Rosemary Ellis. The natural history of an ordinary English country parish was one of the first subjects that suggested themselves when the New Naturalist series was planned. Being chiefly farmland and therefore practically all man-made, most country parishes are extremely complex from the naturalist's point of view and also inevitably contain a vast amount of human history.Any attempt to describe their plants and animals has to be closely related with the ways of man himself, who must be regarded as the chief element in the community - a fact which has been obvious enough to naturalists ever since the days of Gilbert White.
For this book we were fortunate to find an author who combined a thorough all-round knowledge of natural history with a sound insight into human customs, history, pastimes and farming methods. Arnold Boyd lived in Cheshire all his life - and in keeping with the best tradition of English amateur naturalists, he excelled as a collector of facts, as is apparent from his previous books, his writing in the Manchester Guardian and other journals, and in his assistant editorship of British Birds. By weaving together his collection of facts he presents us with a book of remarkable unity and which shows a wide grasp of every aspect of the living communities. This charming yet erudite portrait will protect his beloved parish for ever from the ravages of human forgetfulness.
1885-1959. Countryman and naturalist, author of A Country Parish (1951). One of the last of the old-style amateur naturalists; agent of the family yarn business James Boyd & Son. A Cheshire man to his fingertips, the GIlbert White of Great Budworth. Great field skills; among the most active pioneer bird-ringers. Original papers on the tree sparrow, greenfinch and swallow; put sewage farms and the Staffordshire lakes on the birdwatcher's map. Left vast archive of notebooks and nature diaries, all in his characteristic neat minuscule hand. Editor of British Birds 1944-58, and a leading light of the BTO, BOU and RSPB in the 1940s and 1950s. His long-running column in Manchester Guardian resulted in The Country Diary of a Cheshire Man (1946).