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Summary

By the Wainwright-Conservation-Prize-winning author of Rebirding Spend a year in an orchard, celebrating its imperilled, overlooked abundance of life. England's ancient orchards, collaborations between people and nature, are sources of hope for the future. 

Protecting them promises a far richer England for the centuries to come, for wildlife and for us. As the seasons turn, a wealth of animals and plants are revealed: bumble and solitary bees apartment-hunting in April; spotted flycatchers migrating in May; redstarts, hedgehogs and owls nesting in June; an explosion of life in the summer and the harvest and homespun cider-making in the autumn. And all throughout the year, the orchard’s human and animal inhabitants work together, creating one of the richest ecosystems left in Britain. Explore this unique habitat throughout the course of a year and marvel at the beauty and strength of nature.

©2020 Benedict Macdonald, Nicholas Gates (P)2020 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic reviews

"Splendid." (Guardian)

"Visionary, illuminating and fascinating." (George Monbiot)

"You may not have come across Ben Macdonald before now; but believe me, you will hear a lot more from him in the future." (Stephen Moss) 

What listeners say about Orchard: A Year in England’s Eden

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  • Overall
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A must listen to for all those who love nature

What more can i say - i will listen to this over and over again.

6 people found this helpful

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An extraordinarily enlightening read

An enchanting and enthralling tale which had me gripped from start to finish.
As a retired farmer, I always thought I had a reasonable understanding of natural sciences and their interdependence but this was a truly enlightening experience.
The book imparts an extraordinary amount of detail which comes across very naturally without overwhelming the reader.
I feel slightly blessed at being afforded the privilege of reading this book and highly recommend it.

3 people found this helpful

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great read

full of enthusiasm for the wildlife and interesting facts. fills you with awe at the intricacy of interaction in nature, joy that there are still such places in existence and sadness that they are so rare!

2 people found this helpful

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  • 03-12-21

Beautifully written & narrated

Beautifully written, thoroughly enjoyable especially if you enjoy nature writing. Would highly recommend, just wonderful.

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beautiful but sad

As a lifelong lover of the natural world, I almost dread the prospect of reading yet another tale of doom and gloom regarding man's desecration of our beautiful planet. The description of this orchard is so touching but the fact that it seems to be an oasis in an ever encroaching green desert breaks my heart. I think there are some hopeful signs that some if us have woken up to this sad fact and are trying to make changes, but is it too little too late. Only time will tell.

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the story of a year in the life of an Orchard

beautifully written and read. taking the reader deep into the experience of life through the seasons within a small area of orchard which has been allowed to grow naturally. it retains the biodiversity now lacking in commercial fruit growing and farming. not re-wilding, but allowing hedges to grow and fruit, giving food to so many species. dead wood and trees to remain as habitats, and this allows an abundance o f insects, birds, bats and animals which thrive. the authors take us to eastern Europe where gardens and farms we're still allows to be natural rather than tidied and groomed. wild life here is as it used to be in England' Eden.

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Absorbing.

An absorbing and often sobering read. I was totally enthralled , well read and education too. Puts into perspective the nature unfriendly way of doing things.... Recommended!

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Excellent

I really enjoy these kinds of books - running hare, etc it's Very reassuring to know that people care

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amazing information but a little jumpy at times

I absolutely loved this book and the wealth of information about Britain's organic orchards and the symbyosis of creatures when left to their own devices. Beautifully read by Mike Grady however at times I felt the cuts made in the production process jump around and at times I felt I was missing words from the book taking you out of the flow of the story, mike's voice lends itself perfectly to the book however and could not ask for a better narrator

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fascinating

found it easy on the ear jn fact so easy I sometimes dozed off. very educational