The most recommended nature conservation books

Who picked these books? Meet our 55 experts.

55 authors created a book list connected to nature conservation, and here are their favorite nature conservation books.
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What type of nature conservation book?


English Pastoral

By James Rebanks,

Book cover of English Pastoral: An Inheritance

Alexander F. Robertson Author Of Mieres Reborn: The Reinvention of a Catalan Community

From the list on village lives as keys to history.

Who am I?

Working as a social anthropologist in Uganda, Ghana, Malaysia, and Catalonia, I became fascinated by villages as microcosms of broader social change, places where history can be observed in the making through the lives and histories of families and of their members. Villages are anything but ‘natural’ communities or social backwaters. They survive (or perish) because people, beliefs, and goods are continually moving in and out. Village lives are certainly shaped by state and society, but the impact goes both ways. Each of my selected books tells a gripping and distinctive story of villagers grappling with social and cultural tension, the forces of change, and the challenges of survival.

Alexander's book list on village lives as keys to history

Why did Alexander love this book?

This too is a tale of three village generations grappling with historical change.

Here the story is about changing ideas of stewardship of the land, an enthralling account of farming ways in flux and of the intricate, back-breaking, and unpredictable work of restoring degraded farmland to health.

The Rebanks family run a hill-farm in a Lake District village. Rebanks’ grandfather started with horse-ploughs. A tractor replaced the horses, yet he still knew the individual ways of every ewe and cow and farmed lightly on the land. But Rebanks’ father, caught in market pressures, industrialized his farming methods.

Progress became the mantra of all the village farmers, including the young Rebanks himself.

Today, although they recognize the precarity of their livelihood and the damage to the land, most see no alternative to intensifying production. When Rebanks decides to switch to regenerative farming to preserve the land for future generations, his fellow…

By James Rebanks,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked English Pastoral as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


The new bestseller from the author of The Shepherd's Life

'A beautifully written story of a family, a home and a changing landscape' Nigel Slater

As a boy, James Rebanks's grandfather taught him to work the land the old way. Their family farm in the Lake District hills was part of an ancient agricultural landscape: a patchwork of crops and meadows, of pastures grazed with livestock, and hedgerows teeming with wildlife. And yet, by the time James inherited the farm, it was barely recognisable. The men and women had vanished from the…

Aldo Leopold

By Aldo Leopold,

Book cover of Aldo Leopold: A Sand County Almanac & Other Writings on Conservation and Ecology

Adam M. Sowards Author Of An Open Pit Visible from the Moon: The Wilderness Act and the Fight to Protect Miners Ridge and the Public Interest

From the list on helping you get deep in the wilderness.

Who am I?

When I first started reading about wilderness, I accepted it as an obvious thing—a place without people. That lasted a short time before I realized the enormous historical complexity of such places. Rather than places without people, without history, without politics, “wilderness” became a laboratory of American society. I tried to capture that vibrancy in my book An Open Pit Visible from the Moon where I showed all the claims various people made on one wilderness area in the North Cascades. I'm a writer, historian, and former college professor who now calls the Skagit Valley of Washington home. As much as I enjoy studying wilderness, I prefer walking through it and noticing what it teaches.

Adam's book list on helping you get deep in the wilderness

Why did Adam love this book?

I first read A Sand County Almanac in college, and it inspired me to think deeply about nature. In fact, it helped inspire my career. Aldo Leopold wrestled with our obligations to wild creatures and places arguably more seriously than any contemporary. This is the sort of book where you can open a random page, read a passage, and spend the rest of the afternoon mulling over the ideas, their implications, and the beauty of their expression. This volume collects not only his most famous book but dozens of articles and letters where you can see his mind evolving and changing. Leopold modeled an integrity and a curious mind at work that I try to emulate. I know I’m not alone. 

By Aldo Leopold,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Aldo Leopold as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A special edition of one of the greatest masterpieces of the environmental movement-plus original photographs and other writings on environmental ethics

Since his death in 1948, Aldo Leopold has been increasingly recognized as one of the indispensable figures of American environmentalism. A pioneering forester, sportsman, wildlife manager, and ecologist, he was also a gifted writer whose farsighted land ethic is proving increasingly relevant in our own time. Now, Leopold's essential contributions to our literature-some hard-to-find or previously unpublished-are gathered in a single volume for the first time.

Here is his classic A Sand County Almanac, hailed-along with Thoreau's Walden and…

Desert Cabal

By Amy Irvine,

Book cover of Desert Cabal: A New Season in the Wilderness

Tim Hauserman Author Of Going It Alone: Ramblings and Reflections from the Trail

From the list on Americans going out to discover themselves.

Who am I?

I’ve been writing about my explorations in the wilderness for over 20 years starting with the first edition of my Tahoe Rim Trail guidebook. I’ve always been fascinated by writers who embark on solo journeys into nature, or just traveling in general, and in so doing discover themselves and what they really want from their lives. While I’ve read my share (and written a few) stories about super feats of human endurance, I find the most satisfaction from reading about ordinary people experiencing life at a scale that makes sense to all of us. 

Tim's book list on Americans going out to discover themselves

Why did Tim love this book?

Published 50 years after Desert Solitaire, seventh-generation Utah resident Amy Irvine talks about her respect for Abbey’s impact on her life and writing, while also not holding back on lambasting Abbey for his behavior and hypocrisy. Irvine told Orion magazine, “My goal was not to take Abbey down, but rather to make space for other voices and relationships to the natural world.” While Abbey might be the context for the book, Irvine goes on to deliver a fascinating exploration into her own take on the wonders of wilderness. She can be as hard on herself as she is on Abbey. This book is a great contemporary look at a key question for those of us who explore the wilds: How do we keep from loving it to death? 

By Amy Irvine,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Desert Cabal as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"A grief–stricken, heart–hopeful, soul song to the American Desert."

—PAM HOUSTON, author of Deep Creek

As Ed Abbey’s Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness turns fifty, its iconic author, who has inspired generations of rebel–rousing advocacy on behalf of the American West, is due for a tribute as well as a talking to. In Desert Cabal: A New Season in the Wilderness, Amy Irvine admires the man who influenced her life and work while challenging all that is dated—offensive, even—between the covers of Abbey's environmental classic. Irvine names and questions the "lone male" narrative—white and privileged as it is—that…

The Wilder Heart of Florida

By Jack E. Davis (editor), Leslie K. Poole (editor),

Book cover of The Wilder Heart of Florida

Bruce Hunt Author Of Visiting Small-Town Florida

From the list on for Florida-philes.

Who am I?

Bruce Hunt is a native Floridian writer and photographer. He has authored eleven Florida travel and history books, and over the last three decades has written and photographed hundreds of articles for magazines and newspapers. For five years he was a regular feature writer and photographer for DuPont Registry Tampa Bay Magazine. His work has also appeared in The St. Petersburg Times (Tampa Bay Times), Tampa Tribune, The Visit Tampa Bay Official Visitors Guide, Backpacker Magazine, Rock & Ice Magazine, Skydiving Magazine, Florida Trend Magazine, Celebrity Car Magazine, Coastal Living Magazine, and Southern Living Magazine, among others.

Bruce's book list on for Florida-philes

Why did Bruce love this book?

The Wilder Heart of Florida is a marvelous collection of essays on wild and natural Florida, selected and edited by Dr. Leslie Poole, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies and History at Rollins College, and Dr. Jack Davis, Professor of History at the University of Florida. It is a second volume to the renowned 1999 The Wild Heart of Florida, and features insightful chapters penned by experts on real Florida, like Cynthia Barnett, Lauren Groff, Totch Brown, Lars Anderson, Marjory Stoneman Douglas, Clay Henderson, as well as Jack Davis, and Leslie Poole, among others.

By Jack E. Davis (editor), Leslie K. Poole (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Wilder Heart of Florida as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Fall under the spell of Florida's natural environment

In this captivating collection, Florida's most notable authors, poets, and environmentalists take readers on a journey through the natural wonders of the state. Continuing in the legacy of the beloved classic The Wild Heart of Florida, this book features thirty-four pieces by a new slate of well-known and emerging writers.

In these pages, New York Times bestselling author Lauren Groff describes the beauty of Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park. Environmental writer Cynthia Barnett listens to seashells on Sanibel Island. Legendary journalist Marjory Stoneman Douglas records the sights and sounds of the Everglades…

Rambunctious Garden

By Emma Marris,

Book cover of Rambunctious Garden: Saving Nature in a Post-Wild World

Chris D. Thomas Author Of Inheritors of the Earth: How Nature Is Thriving in an Age of Extinction

From the list on biodiversity change.

Who am I?

Chris Thomas is an ecologist and evolutionary biologist who is interested in how people are changing the Earth’s biodiversity. He has written over 300 scientific articles on topics as varied as showing that animal species have shifted their distributions closer to the poles as the climate has warmed, how butterflies navigate fragments of remaining habitats as they move through human-altered landscapes, and how invasive plants are increasing rather than reducing biological diversity. Chris is today Director of the Leverhulme Centre for Anthropocene Biodiversity at the University of York in England. His popular book Inheritors of the Earth: How Nature Is Thriving in an Age of Extinction was among The Times, Economist & Guardian Books of the Year for 2017.

Chris' book list on biodiversity change

Why did Chris love this book?

This is my favourite ever environmental book. Superbly written in an engaging narrative, Emma Marris explores the complex realities and contradictions of living in a world where the human and non-human components can no longer be separated. And she finds that this mixture is not so bad. If the only way that we can keep wild nature the way it used to be (or rather, the way we usually mistakenly imagine it to have been) is to manage it ever more intensively, then we might as well accept the inevitable. Humans are part of our planet, not separate, and the reality is that all nature everywhere has at least partly been touched by the hand of humans, and in this sense, we are already living in a planetary garden.

She describes it as rambunctious because wildlife does not simply sit back and take the medicine, it grows and lives where…

By Emma Marris,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Rambunctious Garden as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“Remarkable . . . Emma Marris explores a paradox that is increasingly vexing the science of ecology, namely that the only way to have a pristine wilderness is to manage it intensively.” -The Wall Street Journal

A paradigm shift is roiling the environmental world. For decades people have unquestioningly accepted the idea that our goal is to preserve nature in its pristine, pre-human state. But many scientists have come to see this as an outdated dream that thwarts bold new plans to save the environment and prevents us from having a fuller relationship with nature. Humans have changed the landscapes…


By David Quammen,

Book cover of Yellowstone: A Journey Through America's Wild Heart

Becky Lomax Author Of Moon USA National Parks: The Complete Guide to All 63 Parks

From the list on US national parks from science to thrillers.

Who am I?

I grew up hiking and camping with my family in the national parks of Washington. Isn’t that what everyone did in summer? Later, I learned how wrong I was. That most people had never seen a glacier, stood on a mountaintop, walked through a rainforest, gazed at the size of a grizzly, skied past erupting geysers, or rafted a rushing river. These experiences have shaped who I am. I return to the haunts of national parks, from deserts to mountains and remote islands, because they wow me and feed my soul. 

Becky's book list on US national parks from science to thrillers

Why did Becky love this book?

Since Yellowstone is within a day’s drive, I’ve visited it many times in all seasons. While it’s a fave for volcanic activity and abundant wildlife, its unnaturally straight boundaries are at odds with topography and animal needs. With stunning photography, David Quammen dives into the complexities of how everything in the national park expands into a greater interconnected ecosystem. Nothing shows it better for Yellowstone than his stories of the annual elk migrations, the return of wolves, and the intricacies of food webs. In short, no parks, including Yellowstone, are islands unto themselves, and their preservation means looking at the bigger picture. Quammen addresses the issues with skill from his decades as a science writer for National Geographic and his personal witness of living in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

By David Quammen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Yellowstone as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Best-selling author David Quammen takes readers on a breathtaking journey through America's most inspiring and imperilled ecosystem - Yellowstone National Park. Filled with amazing images captured by eight National Geographic photographers over an extensive two year deployment in the park, it is unlike any Yellowstone book before it. Yellowstone's storied past, rich ecosystem and dynamic landscape are brilliantly portrayed in a captivating mosaic of photographs and eloquently written text that blend history, science and research from the field.

Ideas to Postpone the End of the World

By Ailton Krenak, Anthony Doyle (translator),

Book cover of Ideas to Postpone the End of the World

Anthony Doyle Author Of Hibernaculum

From the list on to read before hibernating.

Who am I?

I’m an Irish novelist and poet. Fiction writers are perhaps better described by their fascinations than by any expertise as such. I can’t claim to be an expert in anything, but I am easily fascinated. My educational background is in philosophy, but I’ve always had a tremendous interest in the natural world too, and my writing tends to reflect that. When it comes to fiction, I love books that throw new layers on old surfaces. With nonfiction, I love anything that can explain something. Nonfiction loves to adorn itself with fiction, while fiction tends to cling to nonfiction like flesh on a bone. So my list is mostly bones, and one big sea pearl.        

Anthony's book list on to read before hibernating

Why did Anthony love this book?

I’m biased here, because I translated this book from Portuguese, but it’s a slender little thing with a huge personality.

Ailton Krenak is an indigenous leader from Brazil, and this essay is his attempt to show where human civilization has gone wrong and what we might do to save it.

In a mix of sigh, outburst, yawn, and eulogy, Krenak suggests some simple paradigm shifts that could make all the difference, but the basic idea is clear: there’s no point in trying to change what we do without first changing how we see—and that’s maybe a stretch too far for us. 

By Ailton Krenak, Anthony Doyle (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ideas to Postpone the End of the World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Ailton Krenak's ideas inspire, washing over you with every truth-telling sentence. Read this book." - Tanya Talaga, bestselling author of Seven Fallen Feathers

Indigenous peoples have faced the end of the world before. Now, humankind is on a collective march towards the abyss. Global pandemics, extreme weather, and massive wildfires define this era many now call the Anthropocene.

From Brazil comes Ailton Krenak, renowned Indigenous activist and leader, who demonstrates that our current environmental crisis is rooted in society's flawed concept of "humanity" - that human beings are superior to other forms of nature and are justified in exploiting it…


By Ernest Callenbach,

Book cover of Ecotopia

Ronnie D. Lipschutz Author Of Political Economy, Capitalism, and Popular Culture

From the list on explaining how capitalism works.

Who am I?

I am a product of Sputnik and the threat of nuclear war. Both turned me into a long-time reader of science fiction and a perpetual student in trying to understand how the world works and why? If we have free will, why do so many things seem to be predetermined? If we are rational beings, why do so many of our choices seem so absurd? And if a new world is possible, why can’t we bring it into existence? I was a professor of politics for 30 years (and I was respected! See “Soylent Green.”) and most of my research and writing try to answer these questions.

Ronnie's book list on explaining how capitalism works

Why did Ronnie love this book?

Callenbach’s tale of ecological secession by Washington, Oregon, and Northern California remains an inspiration to those who believe another world is possible.

Callenbach imagined cheap solar electricity and newspapers being delivered through what was, essentially, street corner fax machines. Right on the first, wrong on the second. Unfortunately, Callenbach’s novel is sexist and even a little racist in places, and its utopian vision is unlikely to ever materialize. 

By Ernest Callenbach,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Ecotopia as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Twenty years have passed since Northern California, Oregon, and Washington seceded from the United States to create a new nation, Ecotopia. Rumors abound of barbaric war games, tree worship, revolutionary politics, sexual extravagance. Now, this mysterious country admits its first American visitor: investigative reporter Will Weston, whose dispatches alternate between shock and admiration. But Ecotopia gradually unravels everything Weston knows to be true about government and human nature itself, forcing him to choose between two competing views of civilization.Since it was first published in 1975, Ecotopia has inspired readers throughout the world with its vision of an ecologically and socially…

Recovering a Lost River

By Steven Hawley,

Book cover of Recovering a Lost River: Removing Dams, Rewilding Salmon, Revitalizing Communities

Tim Palmer Author Of America's Great River Journeys: 50 Canoe, Kayak, and Raft Adventures

From the list on rivers and the life they create.

Who am I?

I've been passionate about and engaged with rivers ever since growing up along streams in the Appalachian foothills of Pennsylvania. Now living in Oregon, I'm the author and photographer of 30 books about rivers, the environment, and adventure travel. My books include a history of river conservation, a primer on modern-day river issues, profiles of great rivers from the Youghiogheny in the East to the Snake and Columbia in the West, guidebooks, and photo essays. I've received the Ansel Adams Photography Award from the Sierra Club, the Communicator of the Year Award from the National Wildlife Federation, the Lifetime Achievement Award from American Rivers, a "paddler of the century" recognition from Paddler magazine, and numerous book honors.

Tim's book list on rivers and the life they create

Why did Tim love this book?

This compelling profile of the Snake and Columbia Rivers of the Northwest and Northern Rockies makes a motivating case for removing unnecessary dams and restoring some of the most magnificent runs of fish ever to grace the North American continent. Hawley manages to find humor amid the outrage and chaos, and plants in readers' minds the vision for a better future that's within grasp, if only we had the political will to make the necessary changes. 

By Steven Hawley,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Recovering a Lost River as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the Pacific Northwest, the Snake River and its wilderness tributaries were—as recently as a half century ago—some of the world’s greatest salmon rivers. Now, due to four federal dams, the salmon population has dropped close to extinction. Steven Hawley, journalist and self-proclaimed “river rat,” argues that the best hope for the Snake River lies in dam removal, a solution that pits the power companies and federal authorities against a collection of Indian tribes, farmers, fishermen, and river recreationists. The river’s health, as he demonstrates, is closely connected to local economies, freshwater rights, and energy independence. Challenging the notion of…

Strange Natures

By Kent H. Redford, William M. Adams,

Book cover of Strange Natures: Conservation in the Era of Synthetic Biology

Menno Schilthuizen Author Of Darwin Comes to Town: How the Urban Jungle Drives Evolution

From the list on biology in the Anthropocene.

Who am I?

Menno Schilthuizen is a Dutch evolutionary biologist and ecologist with more than thirty years of research experience under his belt, feeling at home in tropical rainforests as well as in urban greenspaces. He writes in a humorous and accessible manner for the general public about the ways in which the world's ecosystems are shifting and evolving under an increasing human presence. He works and teaches at Naturalis Biodiversity Center in Leiden, the Netherlands.

Menno's book list on biology in the Anthropocene

Why did Menno love this book?

When speaking of the role of technology in nature conservation, one might envisage drones to survey habitat destruction, or endangered elephants with radio collars. But technology might go much further. In this book, the authors show how genetics could help us to re-engineer species, even entire food webs to meet the environmental challenges of the future.

By Kent H. Redford, William M. Adams,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Strange Natures as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A groundbreaking examination of the implications of synthetic biology for biodiversity conservation

"What is natural and what is artificial in the era of the Anthropocene? This is the core question addressed by Kent Redford and William Adams' book, Strange Natures. . . . It is impressive how the book manages to be so rich in perspectives on such a complex and controversial phenomenon, yet so cautiously and open-mindedly written that it invites contemplation and reflection rather than hasty conclusions."-Adam Wickberg, Global Environmental Politics

Nature almost everywhere survives on human terms. The distinction between what is natural and what is human-made,…


By Edward O. Wilson,

Book cover of Half-Earth

Dave Goulson Author Of The Garden Jungle

From the list on rewilding and the biodiversity crisis.

Who am I?

I have loved insects and other wildlife for all of my life. I am now a professor of Biology at the University of Sussex, UK, specializing in bee ecology. I have published more than 400 scientific articles on the ecology and conservation of bumblebees and other insects, plus seven books, including the Sunday Times bestsellers A Sting in the Tale (2013), The Garden Jungle (2019), and Silent Earth (2021). They’ve been translated into 20 languages and sold over half a million copies. I also founded the Bumblebee Conservation Trust in 2006, a charity that has grown to 12,000 members. 

Dave's book list on rewilding and the biodiversity crisis

Why did Dave love this book?

EO Wilson died just a few weeks ago, at the age of 92. It was a sad day for me, as he has always been one of my great heroes. “E.O.” was a fantastic scientist, a world authority on ants, and sometimes known as the “father of biodiversity”. In this book, he argues that we have no right to drive millions of species extinct and that our own future depends upon setting aside half the Earth for nature.    

By Edward O. Wilson,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Half-Earth as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

History is not a prerogative of the human species, Edward O. Wilson declares in Half-Earth. Demonstrating that we blindly ignore the histories of millions of other species, Wilson warns us that a point of no return is imminent. Refusing to believe that our extinction is predetermined, Wilson has written Half-Earth as a cri de coeur, proposing that the only solution to our impending "Sixth Extinction" is to increase the area of natural reserves to half the surface of the earth. Half-Earth is a resounding conclusion to the best-selling trilogy begun by the "splendid" (Financial Times) The Social Conquest of Earth…

Seeds of Change

By Jen Cullerton Johnson, Sonia Lynn Sadler (illustrator),

Book cover of Seeds of Change: Planting a Path to Peace

Sigrid Schmalzer Author Of Moth and Wasp, Soil and Ocean: Remembering Chinese Scientist Pu Zhelong's Work for Sustainable Farming

From the list on inspirational scientists for children.

Who am I?

I'm a historian of science who specializes in modern China. My professional life revolves around teaching history at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and writing for academic audiences. But my not-so-secret dream has always been to write for children. I've been a regular visitor to the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, where I've gorged on illustrated books for children. Encouraged by a chance meeting with a publisher’s representative attending an event at the Carle, I decided to distill my academic book, Red Revolution, Green Revolution: Scientific Farming in Socialist China, into a children’s story. I’m proud that my fans now include elementary-school students. (And at least one professional historian admitted he read the kids’ version first!)

Sigrid's book list on inspirational scientists for children

Why did Sigrid love this book?

The story of environmental activist Wangari Maathai has been told many times, including in several children’s books. I chose this book not only for its spectacular scratchboard illustrations of the Kenyan countryside but also because of its thoughtful attention to Maathai’s passion for science and her path-breaking journey as an African woman scientist. Having overcome gender barriers in the pursuit of her education, Maathai went on to become the kind of scientist who stands up against injustice and for the land and its people.

Her mobilization of village women to plant trees all across Kenya, along with her bold political activism for freedom and democracy, won her the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004. This book’s depiction of a scientist who moves between villages and university laboratories, valuing the work of rural people as much as that of city elites, reminded me of the ideal I tried to convey in Moth…

By Jen Cullerton Johnson, Sonia Lynn Sadler (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Seeds of Change as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As a young girl in Kenya, Wangari was taught to respect nature. She grew up loving the land, plants, and animals that surrounded her -from the giant mugumo trees her people, the Kikuyu, revered to the tiny tadpoles that swam in the river. Although most Kenyan girls were not educated, Wangari, curious and hardworking, was allowed to go to school. There, her mind sprouted like a seed. She excelled at science and went on to study in the United States. After returning home, Wangari blazed a trail across Kenya, using her knowledge and compassion to promote the rights of her…


By Isabella Tree,

Book cover of Wilding: Returning Nature to Our Farm

Mark Avery Author Of Reflections: What Wildlife Needs and How to Provide it

From the list on UK nature conservation.

Who am I?

I’ve been fascinated by wildlife since the age of 5, and 60 years later I’m still addicted. I worked as a research scientist on bats and birds and then morphed into a nature conservationist. I worked for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds for 25 years – 13 years as the Conservation Director. I’ve written books about wildlife and its conservation and regularly review such books on my blog.  I hope that my work has made a difference and that my books, and other authors’ books, can move things on a bit quicker too.

Mark's book list on UK nature conservation

Why did Mark love this book?

Wilding is already a classic book on the subject of rewilding – it’s a successful conservation project and it’s a superbly written book.

It tells the story of the wilding of the Knepp Castle Farm, in Sussex, by its owners Sir Charles Burrell and his wife, the author of this book. So this is an insider account of what happened at Knepp, and why, and how, which adds lots of delightful and juicy colour to the bare bones of the story. But the bare bones are exciting enough – there has been a rapid and massive resurgence of nature in the last 20 years.

By Isabella Tree,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Wilding as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'A poignant, practical and moving story of how to fix our broken land, this should be conservation's salvation; this should be its future; this is a new hope' - Chris Packham

In Wilding, Isabella Tree tells the story of the 'Knepp experiment', a pioneering rewilding project in West Sussex, using free-roaming grazing animals to create new habitats for wildlife. Part gripping memoir, part fascinating account of the ecology of our countryside, Wilding is, above all, an inspiring story of hope.

Winner of the Richard Jefferies Society and White Horse Book Shop Literary Prize.

Forced to accept that intensive farming on…

Pastoral Song

By James Rebanks,

Book cover of Pastoral Song: A Farmer's Journey

Mark Warren Author Of Indigo Heaven

From Mark's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Composer Archer Teacher Grateful

Mark's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Why did Mark love this book?

I wish this book could become required reading for all the world. But most especially for all Americans.

It addresses a relationship between humans and Earth that is steadily slipping away from the public’s consciousness: Mankind and how he treats the land upon which he lives. This story of farm life in England reminds us of our relationships to foods, whether plants or animals.

The author, who inherits the agricultural legacy of his father and grandfather, discovers the ultimate futility and destruction of large-scale industrial farming and digs back into his grandfather’s methods of living with the soil. The audio version of this book is excellent due to the perfect-choice reader, which is always a critical ingredient for a spoken text.

But the real gift here is Rebanks’s experience and dedication. His willingness to change the course of his farm management reveals a story that gives us hope.

By James Rebanks,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Pastoral Song as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The acclaimed chronicle of the regeneration of one family's traditional English farm

NATIONAL BESTSELLER * Winner of the Wainwright Prize for Nature Writing * Named "Nature Book of the Year" by the Sunday Times * New York Times Editors' Choice * Shortlisted for the Orwell Prize and the Royal Society of Literature's Ondaatje Prize * A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR: Sunday Times, Financial Times, New Statesman, Independent, Telegraph, Observer, and Daily Mail

"Superbly written and deeply insightful, the book captivates the reader until the journey’s end.” — Wall Street Journal

The New York Times bestselling author of The Shepherd’s…

Against Extinction

By William Bill Adams,

Book cover of Against Extinction: The Story of Conservation

Catherine Barr Author Of Red Alert! 15 Endangered Animals Fighting to Survive

From the list on to discover the story of endangered species.

Who am I?

I write picture books about nature to inspire curiosity and care for our planet. I have been writing about wildlife conservation and particularly endangered species since studying ecology, campaigning with Greenpeace, and working with the Natural History Museum in London. Now as a full-time author, I have an extraordinary opportunity to learn through experience and in conversation with scientists, teachers, and children about how best to tell this ever more urgent, evolving story. The statement "Ecology? Look it up! You’re involved" writ large in 1969 by the first Greenpeace campaigners on billboards around Vancouver, still says it all for me.  

Catherine's book list on to discover the story of endangered species

Why did Catherine love this book?

A conservation classic, Against Extinction is a comprehensive and absorbing story of conservation over the last hundred years. Bill Adams explores the history, context, and legacy of conservation. Often quoted as the ‘UK voice of conservation’ Bill Adams, Professor of Conservation and Development in the Department of Geography at the University of Cambridge, is an authoritative writer on this critical global tale. 

Meeting Professor Adams in discussion for my own research has been both insightful and deeply interesting. His reflections on this evolving movement are poignant and for me, so helpful in framing and distilling the words of my picture book conservation stories.

By William Bill Adams,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Against Extinction as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Conservation in the 21st century needs to be different and this book is a good indicator of why' Bulletin of British Ecological Society. Against Extinction tells the history of wildlife conservation from its roots in the 19th century, through the foundation of the Society for the Preservation of the Wild Fauna of the Empire in London in 1903 to the huge and diverse international movement of the present day. It vividly portrays conservation's legacy of big game hunting, the battles for the establishment of national parks, the global importance of species conservation and debates over the sustainable use of and…

A Sand County Almanac

By Aldo Leopold,

Book cover of A Sand County Almanac: And Sketches Here and There

Greg M. Peters Author Of Our National Forests: Stories from America's Most Important Public Lands

From the list on people who love outdoors and want to learn more.

Who am I?

I love being outdoors and I’ve been fortunate to spend much of life under the open sky, both professionally and personally. Learning about the landscapes I’ve visited on my outdoor adventures or helped protect through my professional conservation and writing work is both fulfilling and inspiring. Skilled writers deepen my understanding of the diverse, intricate, and complicated natural world. Whether I’m reading to better understand the policies and histories that have shaped our public lands or about the adventurers who inspire me to get out there, I always find immense value and enjoyment when reading about the landscapes we share. 

Greg's book list on people who love outdoors and want to learn more

Why did Greg love this book?

Aldo Leopold was a Forest Service ranger stationed in New Mexico’s Gila National Forest when he first began advocating for a new approach to managing national forests. Leopold’s visionary thinking and diligent advocacy resulted in the first-ever Wilderness Area in the U.S.—the Gila Wilderness Area, established in 1922—more than 40 years before the Wilderness Act was passed by Congress in 1964. A Sand County Almanac is Leopold’s best-known work and follows his efforts to restore a patch of cut-over farmland in Wisconsin while also articulating his vision of a land ethic where humans and nature are intertwined and care for people cannot be separated from care for the land. His beautiful writing resonated strongly with me when I first read A Sand County Almanac more than two decades ago, and his vision remains as important now as ever.

By Aldo Leopold,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked A Sand County Almanac as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Aldo Leopold's A Sand County Almanac has enthralled generations of nature lovers and conservationists and is indeed revered by everyone seriously interested in protecting the natural world. Hailed for prose that is "full of beauty and vigor and bite" (The New York Times), it is perhaps the finest example of nature writing since Thoreau's Walden.
Now this classic work is available in a completely redesigned and lavishly illustrated gift edition, featuring over one hundred beautiful full-color pictures by Michael Sewell, one of the country's leading nature photographers. Sewell, whose work has graced the pages of Audubon and Sierra magazines, walked…

Wangari's Trees of Peace

By Jeanette Winter,

Book cover of Wangari's Trees of Peace: A True Story from Africa

Christine Ieronimo Author Of A Thirst for Home: A Story of Water across the World

From the list on stories from Africa with strong protagonists.

Who am I?

I am passionate about writing books for children that create windows to the world, teaching empathy. Children that are empathic grow up to be kind and compassionate adults. I write because I long for a world that is more accepting and compassionate.  

Christine's book list on stories from Africa with strong protagonists

Why did Christine love this book?

Wangari is from Kenya and grew up among many trees. When she is older and returns home, she notices that the trees have all been cut down. She decides to replant her own trees which starts a movement with many to reforest the land. She has many obstacles to overcome but, in the end, prevails. This is a story that shows determination in the face of many challenges to make a difference. I, of course, love that it also introduces children to a very different and very beautiful part of the world. This is another story that can connect us all. Jeanette Winter’s text and beautiful illustrations complement each other perfectly. 

By Jeanette Winter,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Wangari's Trees of Peace as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As a young girl growing up in Kenya, Wangari was surrounded by trees. But years later when she returns home, she is shocked to see whole forests being cut down, and she knows that soon all the trees will be destroyed. So Wangari decides to do something - and starts by planting nine seedlings in her own backyard. And as they grow, so do her plans . . .

This true story of Wangari Maathai, environmentalist and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, is a shining example of how one woman's passion, vision, and determination inspired great change.

Includes an…

Planting the Trees of Kenya

By Claire A. Nivola,

Book cover of Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai

Mary Shaw Author Of Basil's Unkie Herb

From the list on I wish I could have read to my children.

Who am I?

I really am passionate about children and education. Reading to children is such a joy especially when they snuggle in and get absorbed in the story. Education is the only way to achieve some sort of equity in our world. The world I knew as a child is no more and that is a good thing. Cruel biases and intolerance hurt so many. Today there is more freedom and the potential to live true to yourself whatever that may be. I like books that show the diversity of our humanity, that can be read to children to broaden their understanding, acceptance, and tolerance of family which may be very different from their own.

Mary's book list on I wish I could have read to my children

Why did Mary love this book?

I really like this book because it is a story about a strong woman, a science student, someone who studied at university. The message “if you are part of the problem, you can be part of the solution” and the message of education, and environmental responsibility resonates with me. The illustrations are gentle pastoral scenes and the fact that it was the women who saved Kenya from hunger and devastation makes this a must-read. My favourite scene is when Wangari is telling soldiers to have a gun in one hand and a seed in the other. The true story that just one person beginning with a small act of planting some seeds made a big difference is definitely worth a read.


By David A Steen, Chiara Fedele (illustrator),

Book cover of Rewilding: Bringing Wildlife Back Where It Belongs

Patricia Newman Author Of A River's Gifts: The Mighty Elwha River Reborn

From the list on conservation that give readers hope.

Who am I?

I write nonfiction books for children and teens that focus on current environmental stories. But environmental headlines are usually gloomy and filled with foreboding, so, I prefer to focus on stories that involve individuals identifying an environmental problem and working to develop a solution – hence this list of happy conservation stories. The stories in this list – and many others are the antidote to the headlines. They are the hope. They show human ingenuity at its most creative, most flexible, and most caring. Happy conservation stories empower kids, teens, and adults to care about the role they play in nature and unite them in action. 

Patricia's book list on conservation that give readers hope

Why did Patricia love this book?

Rewilding is a book for older readers (ages 8+) organized in a browseable format.

The authors give a brief two-page overview of several conservation success stories. You’ll find some overlap between Rewilding’s stories and books I’ve written, like freeing the Elwha River (A River’s Gifts) and re-introducing black-footed ferrets into the wild (Zoo Scientists to the Rescue), but you’ll also find new stories about rattlesnakes, snot otters, Arabian oryx, tigers, meat-eating plants, and more. 

By David A Steen, Chiara Fedele (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Rewilding as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

⭐ Selected as one of the Best Nature Books of 2022 by Kirkus Reviews ⭐
⭐ Selected as one of the Best Informational Books of 2022 for Older Readers by Chicago Public Library ⭐

"A book worth returning to multiple times. A fascinating primer on the intricacies of ecosystems." -- Kirkus, starred review

Discover inspiring stories of wildlife brought back from the brink of extinction – a perfect gift for kids who care about the environment!

Rewilding means returning animals or plants to places where they used to live. In this book, acclaimed conservation biologist and science communicator David A.…

Love, Life, and Elephants

By Daphne Jenkins Sheldrick,

Book cover of Love, Life, and Elephants: An African Love Story

Evadeen Brickwood Author Of The Rhino Whisperer

From the list on Southern Africa with wild life.

Who am I?

I moved from Germany to Botswana when I was a fledgling translator, and then on to South Africa 2 years later. I fell in love with this part of Africa that had a hand in making me the person I am today. Since I used to travel a lot, not all of my books are set in Southern Africa, but I have a passion for sharing my African stories with the world, and in a few of my novels, I include African wildlife in the storyline. Being a translator, I also translate books into German/English, and four of my own books - so far - are also available in German.

Evadeen's book list on Southern Africa with wild life

Why did Evadeen love this book?

Daphne Sheldrick has written this memoir to give us an insight into her life, saving and raising young elephants and numerous other wild animals with her husband in the Tsavo National Park in Kenya. Her book is hugely inspiring and, although Kenya is strictly speaking not in Southern Africa. South African and East African wildlife are very similar and her description of an orphan sanctuary inspired me to write about such a sanctuary in my own book.

By Daphne Jenkins Sheldrick,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Love, Life, and Elephants as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Daphne Sheldrick, whose family arrived in Africa from Scotland in the 1820s, is the first person ever to have successfully hand-reared newborn elephants. Her deep empathy and understanding, her years of observing Kenya's rich variety of wildlife, and her pioneering work in perfecting the right husbandry and milk formula have saved countless elephants, rhinos, and other baby animals from certain death.

In this heartwarming and poignant memoir, Daphne shares her amazing relationships with a host of orphans, including her first love, Bushy, a liquid-eyed antelope; Rickey-Tickey-Tavey, the little dwarf mongoose; Gregory Peck, the busy buffalo weaver bird; Huppety, the mischievous…