New Holland Concise Pond Wildlife Guide |192 Pages | New Holland & The Wildlife Trust | Paperback| 2012 | ISBN-978-1-84773-977-3 |
You may have guessed but I am wildlife obsessed. My family are, how shall we put it, not quite at my level; but may daughter is becoming more interested (easier to convince her to go out in the summer when it’s warm and there is plenty about) and (as you can tell from this blog) we live near to a small lake and river system. So when I was approached to review the New Holland Concise Pond Wildlife Guide (that’s a mouthful) I thought it would be a great book that she and I could share (I’ll pass it to her fully now the review is written).
The book is small (a pocket guide effectively) but still covers a staggering 20 different subjects: From Water plants to trees; insects to birds; and just about anything else you would be likely to see at the pond. Each subject is split to individual species accounts written on a one page per subject basis, with a drawing and a small blurb about each one (with the exception of the birds where species sometimes share pages). There is also a pull out comparison poster at the rear of the book for extra help.
The drawings are first class. But while they serve a purpose there are probably better examples for each species or genus out there. Especially in a larger book if you really want to be able to identify things. And the small amount of writing does help. But again there is not really the detail you would want from a first class identification or field guide. I guess this does not matter if it is seen as a very basic guide to help in early outings. You just want a chance at identifying what you have seen. Me personally I need more than this offers.
We have used this book a few times in the field, and while it serves as a good educational tool to help beginners learn the basics of what they are seeing around the pond those with a decent knowledge will most likely find, like me, there is not enough depth for them.
The major advantage of this book is the size, you really can pop it in your pocket. And at under £5 there is a market out there that would happily have this book for limited use. Don’t get me wrong I am not saying it is a bad book. In fact it is great for kids but as an adult that really wants to know what they are seeing it is not for me.
To conclude I would say this book is aimed at kids or the very beginner who wants an item that is easy to move around but will help them to maybe identify what they are seeing. And let’s be honest it helps raise funds and awareness for a wonderful organisation. Also an ideal stocking filler for Christmas.