Focus Corner

Book Review – A Space for Nature by Liz Sheppard

December 19th, 2011 by   (View Author Profile)

I have three books on the go at the moment to help while away the wet evenings. I have the 2005 Beano annual, classic yearly fun that’s a bit like Viz but not funny, but I like looking at the pictures.  The second book is called 50 Ways to Kill a Slug by Sarah Ford and is providing me with even more ways to help eradicate the ongoing issues with these pests. You think you have found all of the methods of killing the slimy creatures then find come more.

Here are my favourites up to page 30:
•    Hoe the slug eggs onto the soil surface in early spring for the birds to eat.
•    Spray them with extract of Yucca. Simply stick a yucca leaf into a blender, pour on water then spray onto the slugs. Slugs won’t go anywhere near the plants.
•    Create a slug playhouse made from grapefruit halves. After eating the insides of the fruit place the fruit halves face down onto the ground and cut out a small doorway for the slugs and snails to go in. Pick them out in the mornings as they sleep.

The third book is a bit more of a grown up read but it still has loads of pictures if you are not feeling in the mood for too much text. It’s Liz Sheppard’s beautiful book called Space For Nature.

Book Review
Space for Nature-The Wildlife Story of a Donegal Farm by Liz Sheppard
Space for Nature is a beautiful reminder that we are not the owners of the earth but trustees who are here only for a blink of an eye. The land we live on, though constantly transforming, has its own story and the creatures and plants that we live alongside are ruled by natural rather than man made laws. Liz Sheppard not only embraces her stewardship but shares her journey with her readers. The book has evolved from Liz’s ‘Natureview’ articles in the Donegal Democrat and highlights the lack of differentiation between humanity and the natural kingdom on her farm in East Donegal. Liz describes her many encounters with her neighbours; the birds, plants and animals and in their meetings there is a mutuality where she seems to be accepted as an unthreatening life form that happens to share their territory.
There is a friendliness throughout the pages of the book and a deep appreciation of the land and all that dwells there. There are also stunning photos of the farm, its flora and fauna (taken by Liz’s husband Ralph) showing the beauty of our landscape, the hedgerows, the primroses, butterflies and fungi. The book also has beautiful illustrations of the animals not captured on film by John Shiels.
This book will deepen our appreciation of the life that might be unseen by those of us who move upon the earth too fast to take the time to tune into our surroundings and uncover the rich diversity of life. There is a tender, timeless quality in the descriptions of nature’s ways which have continued uninterruptedly for thousands of years. It is a book that slows the reader right down. A book that is light in its touch and fascinating in its detail.
Space for Nature will be appreciated by any-one who loves the land, loves nature and realises that we are only travellers on the journey of life.

Where to buy your copy
Space for Nature priced at 10 pounds can be purchased at local bookshops. Amazon and the Book Depository have copies too if you would like to buy online.

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