Try an audiobook on us

Our Place

Narrated by: Mark Cocker
Length: 12 hrs and 28 mins
4 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)
Regular price: £23.99
£7.99/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime

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

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    5
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    3
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    2

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    4
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0
Sort by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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.