Sunday, February 5, 2023

The Secret Life of a Woodland Habitat: Life Through the Seasons

The Secret Life of a Woodland Habitat is a beautifully photographed and well written look at a woodland habitat by ChloĆ© Valerie Harmsworth. Released 14th Dec 2022 by Pen & Sword on their White Owl imprint, it's 128 pages and is available in hardcover and ebook formats. 

There have been so many studies and research showing that living a life divorced from nature and wildness increases stress and has a negative effect on mental and physical health. The need for nature connection has led to movements to change the way we educate (more wilderness and outdoor time for preschoolers through university students), green spaces in our workplaces, even "prescriptions" for outdoor and nature/wild time for everything from stress to depression to physical issues such as autoimmune flare-ups. 

The author does a brilliant job of showing a year's cycle in a woodland managed by the Woodland Trust. It's a gentle book, a contemplative book, and it's full of colourful macro photos which show close up details. There are poems for each season, and the author does a good job of both showing the beauty of nature close to home as well as explaining in accessible terms why it's vitally important to our physical and mental health as well as to the interconnected health of our planet.

Five stars. Gorgeous project, well executed. This would make a good choice for public or school library acquisition or home use. Readers should note that the specific woodland covered in the book is in the UK, but there are takeaways for readers everywhere. 

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.    

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