Invasive Aliens: The Plants and Animals From Over There That Are Over Here

Invasive Aliens: The Plants and Animals From Over There That Are Over Here

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Hardcover - pages: 336

  • A Sunday Times Book of the Year
  • A Telegraph Best Science Book of the Year
  • A Waterstones Best Nature Book of the Year

A unique history of plant and animal invaders of the British isles spanning thousands of years of arrivals and escapes, as well as defences mounted and a look to the future.

As Brits we pride ourselves as stoic defenders, boasting a record of resistance dating back to 1066.

Yet, even a cursory examination of the natural world reveals that while interlopers of the human variety may have been kept at bay, our islands have been invaded, conquered and settled by an endless succession of animals, plants, fungi and other alien lifeforms that apparently belong elsewhere. Indeed it’s often hard to work out what actually is native, and what is foreign.

From early settlement of our islands, through the Roman and mediaeval period, to the age of exploration and globalisation, today’s complement of alien species tells a story about our past.

GWCT Review

Although its title and cover might suggest otherwise, this is often a tale of one species – humans – and its impact on wildlife. GWCT members might be well-versed in what (or who) brought the Reeves muntjac to these shores, but there is something for everyone to learn in these pages.

Dan Eatherley gives balance to the tale of species – both plants and animals – introduced to Britain and those which were taken overseas, often as a reminder of ‘home’. Much like the unintended proliferation of muntjac, little did the Shakespeare-loving ornithologist who brought starlings to Central Park expect to end up creating the continent’s most abundant bird. A fascinating social history, particularly about those with a romantic ideal of what nature looks like.