Merlin Unwin Books

"Merlin Unwin Books are lively, innovative countryside book publishers.

Their well-produced range of rural, wildlife, fieldsports and fishing books never fail to inform and entertain."

Philip Dunne MP
co-founder of Ottakar’s bookshops

The Naturalist's Bedside Book

The secret life of woods and fields is brought together in The Naturalist's Bedside Book, that delightful collection of BB essays on the seasons of the British countryside.

This book was first published in 1980 and is now redesigned and back in print for a new generation to dip into. As he moves from winter through to spring, summer and autumn, BB covers such topics as:

* fighting starlings and where to site tit boxes
* how to identify old nests in winter hedgerows
* BB's pet rook Percy, an injured fledgling
* separating a clinging, amorous frog from a carp
* what makes a good taxidermist
* albino birds and mammals
* the perfume of the balsam poplar
* how to keep horse flies and midges at bay
* a search for the eggs of the purple emperor butterfly
* the 15-year-old hand-reared goldfinch
* a perfect field pond
* autumn deer ruts
* long-eared owls mobbed by jays

Illustrated with 20 of his beautiful scraper-board illustrations, this new edition is in an improved, larger print and contains the addition of a BB illustration of the Bowcase Stone.

Author: BB
Illustrator: Denys Watkins-Pitchford
ISBN: 978 1 906122 04 1
Published: January 1980
Latest edition: September 2008
Format: 234 x 156 mm
Binding: Hardback
No. of pages: 224
20 scraperboard illustrations
Price: £17.99

The Naturalist's Bedside Book by BB


Press reviews

Reviewed in The Field in December 2008

'A poetic style that is laced with BB’s knowledgeable opinion on the natural
world. An early Christmas treat for all.'


Reviewed in Shooting Gazette in December 2008

'Whether finding old nests in winter hedgerows or searching Rockingham Forest for ancient monuments, it’s the author’s love of all things country that shines through.'


Reviewed in Shooting Times in November 2008

'Merlin Unwin has kept faith with the importance of design, giving this new edition enlarged print and a thoughtful layout. This collection of essays unlocks the secrets of the woods and fields and shows just what an acute observer of nature BB was.'


Reviewed in This England in December 2008

'A new generation can now enjoy the fine prose and fine drawings. An unsurpassed delight.'


Reviewed in The Countryman in November 2008

'He takes us through a personalised rural year in his easy, poetic style.'


Reviewed in Fieldsports Magazine in October 2008

'Merlin Unwin are to be congratulated for bringing this fine book back into print. For those who have never read this book, place your order now.'


Reviewed in Country Smallholding in November 2008

'This book is more relevant than ever for a new generation to read.'


Reviewed in Shooting & Conservation (BASC) in November 2008

'This classic work shows the inimitable BB at his best, taking us gently through the changing year. He evokes the magic of the countryside in a way that no other author can. It is a book that every true countryman will treasure and read again and again.'


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