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Our Place

Narrated by: Mark Cocker
Length: 12 hrs and 28 mins
4 out of 5 stars (16 ratings)

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Summary

Random House presents the audiobook edition of Our Place, written and read by Mark Cocker. 

Environmental thought and politics have become parts of mainstream cultural life in Britain. The wish to protect wildlife is now a central goal for our society, but where did these ‘green’ ideas come from? And who created the cherished institutions, such as the National Trust or the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, that are now so embedded in public life, with millions of members?

From the flatlands of Norfolk to the tundra-like expanse of the Flow Country in northern Scotland, acclaimed writer on nature Mark Cocker sets out on a personal quest through the British countryside to find the answers to these questions. 

He explores in intimate detail six special places that embody the history of conservation or whose fortunes allow us to understand why our landscape looks as it does today. We meet key characters who shaped the story of the British countryside - Victorian visionaries like Octavia Hill, founder of the National Trust, as well as brilliant naturalists such as Max Nicholson or Derek Ratcliffe, who helped build the very framework for all environmental effort. 

This is a book that looks to the future as well as exploring the past. It asks searching questions like who owns the land and why? And who benefits from green policies? Above all it attempts to solve a puzzle: why do the British seem to love their countryside more than almost any other nation, yet they have come to live amid one of the most denatured landscapes on Earth? Radical, provocative and original, Our Place tackles some of the central issues of our time. Yet, most important of all, it tries to map out how this overcrowded island of ours could be a place fit not just for human occupants but also for its billions of wild citizens.

©2018 Mark Cocker (P)2018 Random House Audiobooks
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The truth, the whole truth, & nothing but truth ..

If U know then this will compound the frustration, if U didn't it will do the same, but it's best to be aware then dumb.

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Fact heavy and species light

The main problem with this book so highly rated by critics - is that it skips in style between heavy chunks of fact and layers of history, then to switch to paragraphs of wonderful observational 'pastoral nature writing'. I have no problem with either but think that as an avid nature reader I want to know how our nation's environmental charities and trusts have shaped our land and have changed with public opinion - but i think to go into so much detail and stating people's birth and death dates along with what they add to the story is too much. It feels like an academic paper on our handling of nature in the anthropocene - basically i think if the factual sections were cut in half it would be better. I also had to buy a hard copy (it is a required reading for a course) and this was slightly more engaging - the audiobook is narrated in a dull tone that makes the factual bits even harder going.

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A must read for all conservationists, enviromentalists and politicians

This a very scholarly book on conservation and the importance of nature. It emphasises the need of reconstructing the link between the human race and a he world of nature.
There are many facts and truths that would horrify but also identify why equality is is rife in the UK.
The book is hard work but ultimately worth staying with for anyone who is truly sincere about the state of nsture in the UK.

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A wake up call - if we chose to wake up.

A wake up call - if we chose to wake up to our ongoing eradication of non human nature. The hardback has been sitting on our coffee table for a while now, with many recommendations. Heard Mark Cocker's talk, on the book, at the Bird Fair and then saw the audio format and bought it straight away knowing that Mark Cocker was the only person to read it. Such elegant, but distressing, writing/listening with one highly quotable phrase following another. The "fallacy of conservation" "we place no value on non-human nature" and "at every turn in the road we chose ourselves". On historical examples - "we knew then, and we know better now, and we continue to destroy non man made nature". We live in the countryside and so are aware of the myth of conservation in intensive agriculture, intensive forestry and all our other "inputs" that continue to destroy the natural environment. Mid Wales, and it's 7,000,000 "free range" hens, is probably seen by the analytical satellites as turning into the ammonia capital of Europe. I'm sure Mark Cocker won't agree me with this, but we see wind farm companies imposing significant destruction of the uplands the peat and the wildlife "in our name" . He shows us that, as we know from history, that we live now in the way we have always lived. Trying to imagine how to get his story to a wider public to make more of us realise the damage that we, sometimes unconsciously, do with all our "stuff" is a challenge that should be taken up.

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hard work

i've struggled through to chapter 7 but had to give up. whilst I ordinarily adore nature writing, I found this to be a ongoing battle to stay focused on the monotone narration relaying countless lists of unmemorable dates and acronyms