Froglife: Interview with CEO Kathy Wormald

Kathy Wormald, CEO of Froglife, recently took the time to talk to us about the national charity dedicated to the conservation of amphibians and reptiles. In this insightful and inspiring conversation we talk about some of the threats facing amphibians and reptiles, the ways in which Froglife are addressing these challenges, how Covid-19 is affecting them as a charity, and share simple ways in which you can get involved with amphibian and reptile conservation.

Firstly, can you give us a brief introduction to Froglife and your main goals for amphibian and reptile conservation. 

Froglife is a wildlife conservation charity with a specific focus on the UK’s native reptiles and amphibians and their habitats. We are a practical organisation working on the ground improving sites for our species such as creating wetland habitats, improving grasslands and woodlands and monitoring our species and their habitats. Central to our ethos is to ensure that as many people as possible, from all walks of life, are able to contribute to nature conservation. We deliver our work through three work programmes: Transforming Landscapes, Transforming People and Transforming Research.

If your wildest dreams could be realised, what would you wish for amphibian and reptile populations, both in the UK and internationally? 

To stop decline of amphibian and reptile populations. Internationally amphibians are declining at a faster rate than birds and mammals. To put as much focus on conserving common species as is put on rare species. The lack of emphasis for common species means that many are no longer common. In the UK I would stop the decline of our iconic common toads, decline rates of 68% over the past 30 years. Froglife does have a big focus on common toad conservation but we need to get the whole country behind us.

One of the main problems faced by amphibians and reptiles is mortality and habitat fragmentation due to roads. Can you tell us about the Wildlife Tunnel Campaign and how it hopes to address this problem? 

New property developments require roads and these roads often run through sites that are used by wildlife, if they are protected species then action will be taken to try to help the species, however for non-protected species such as common toads, often no action is required. A lot of wildlife migrate across sites as do common toads. Common toads will migrate to their hereditary breeding pond each year and back to their hibernation sites later in the year. This migration often involves toads having to cross roads, in some cases more than one road intersection. Wildlife Tunnels provide a link between the broken site with wildlife being directed with fencing to cross under the road instead of on the road. We are asking people to sign up to our campaign to ensure that all new developments that will have roads running through wildlife sites must install Wildlife Tunnels (see image at bottom of page for more info). These tunnels need to be monitored and maintained at the cost of the developer.

What would you consider to be Froglife’s greatest success stories so far? 

The people we help to get involved in wildlife conservation, often working with very disadvantaged communities who don’t get the chance to help nature and who live in nature deficient neighbourhoods, their actions help to improve lots of green spaces in neighbourhoods. The amount of successful habitat works that we do that benefit nature and people. The Toads on Roads patrols that Froglife co-ordinates. The many innovative initiatives that we have developed such as our Wildlife Tunnel Exhibition and Virtual Reality Experience and the Wildlife Visualiser App. Opening up new revenue streams for the sector by highlighting to donors that nature conservation does have social benefits and should be funded by social donors as well as those focusing on the environment.

Working with local communities

The Covid-19 pandemic has created a huge number of unforeseen challenges for everyone this year, charities included. How have you been affected and what measures have you taken to deal with the current situation? 

Some of our projects couldn’t deliver activities during Covid-19 which meant that many of our beneficiaries didn’t have the opportunity to get involved. Our finances were impacted by the withdrawal of a lot of grant schemes. We face an uncertain future not knowing of further Covid-19 restrictions and funding opportunities. We took very decisive and quick action to deal with the situation. We developed lots of online content and delivered sessions, workshops and training courses online. We even managed to keep our work with people living with dementia going which meant that at least this group of people were supported during very trying times for them. We successfully secured Covid-19 emergency funding. We have restructured the organisation to ensure that we are harnessing the skill set of all of our staff to help us get through this.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to become more involved with amphibian and reptile conservation in the UK? 

There are many different ways in which people can become more involved: volunteering is great experience for the individual but also helps us so much with our work. There are plenty of varied volunteering opportunities, either getting outdoors and involved with physical site works, helping with our education work, research or fundraising for us. People can also attend our training courses, they are widely promoted on our website and via social media.

You can find out more about Froglife from their website and by following them on Facebook and Twitter.

The NHBS Guide to Fungi Identification

Chicken of the Woods by Thijs de Bruin via Flickr

From mould to yeast, fungi are a diverse kingdom with over 15,000 species in the UK. Fungi are made up of different microscopic thread like bodies called hyphae, and collectively hyphae form mycelium. Mushrooms or toadstools are the reproductive, umbrella shaped fruiting bodies of certain fungi. These organisms can be found in almost every natural habitat, but more kinds of macro-fungi tend to be found in woodlands, as they provide a rich and continuing nutrient source and a wide range of microhabitats. 

Autumn is a great time of the year to explore the fascinating world of fungi, as most species enjoy the slightly cooler and wetter conditions. To those familiar with identifying plants, birds and mammals, mushroom and fungi identification can be a tricky task requiring a different kind of approach. However there are some distinct, common species that are much easier to identify than others, and getting a great ID book can really help. In this blog we focus on 10 common, easier to identify types of mushrooms and toadstools found in the UK, alongside some key characteristics and where to find them. 

How to identify:

Some fungi cannot be identified without a microscope, however those in this blog can be identified using macro characteristics displayed by the fruiting body. Most are umbrella or mushroom shaped with gills on the cap underside. Below are some key characteristics to look out for when identifying:

  • Fruiting body – shape, colour and size 
  • Gills – in particular how they attach to the stem, a spore print can also be taken
  • Stem – shape, colour, size
  • Smell and texture
  • Habitat
Mushroom picking and safety

This blog has not been written to be used for finding edible species, please be cautious as fungi can be highly poisonous.

1. Hedgehog Fungus – Hydnum repandum
Hedgehog Fungus by Lynn Martin via Flickr

Other common names: Wood Hedgehog, Sweet Tooth or Pied de Mouton

Identification: In place of gills, this species has spines (stalactite-like projections) under the cap, making it look rather hedgehog like. The spines are paler than the cap, and the cap is creamy, medium-sized and fleshy. Cap is 3-17 cm across. Stem is short and stocky.

Where to find them: On soil among litter, under broad-leaved woodland, in particular with beech or oak, sometimes with other species, including in coniferous woods; often in troops.

2. Giant Puffball – Calvatia gigantea
Giant Puffball by Ciska van Geer via Flickr

Identification: One of the largest fungi in the UK, it is similar in size to a football. The young fruiting bodies are solid, white, thin and smooth and then later turn olive, then finally brown when it opens. When mature it is roughly 20-75 cm across. There is no stem, however it can be connected to the ground by a fine root like filament.

Where to find: Can be found in grasslands, pasture, lawns, commons and roadsides, and can be found in open woodlands, often with nettles and rubbish.

3. Wood Blewit –  Lepista nuda or Clitocybe nuda 
Wood Blewit by Julie via Flickr

Identification: Has a blue to violet tinged cap and gills when young, however older caps turn tan or grey from the centre. Gills are crowded and grow into the stalk and fade to brown as the mushroom matures. The cap is roughly 5-15 cm across, and the stem 5-10 cm tall.

Where to find: Amongst leaf litter in woods, hedgerows and gardens. Can also be found in grasslands away from trees

4. Common Inkcap – Coprinopsis atramentaria
Common Inkcap by Roy Lowry via Flickr

Other common names: Inky Cap

Identification: A grey to fawn cap that is at first egg-shaped and then later bell shaped. The surface is smooth and splits into a few tiny scales from the apex, the edges are often wavy and split. Stem is white and hollow. Cap is around 4-8 cm across and stem is 5-15 cm tall.

Where to find: Very common – wherever there is buried wood.

5. Fly Agaric – Amanita muscaria
Fly Agaric by Derek Parker via Flickr

Other common names: Fly Amanita

Identification: One of the most iconic toadstools depicted in fairy-tale illustrations.  It has a shiny, scarlet red or orange cap with white wart-like spots dotted across. Cap is 8-20 cm across. The gills are white and free, and the stem is swollen with rings of scales.

Where to find: In mixed woodlands and heaths, mostly amongst birch, pine and spruce.

6. Jelly Ear – Auricularia auricula-judae
Jelly Ear by Steve Balcombe via Flickr

Other common names: Jew’s Ear or Wood Ear

Identification: Initially cup-shaped and smoothed, the fruiting body develops lobes in the shape of a wrinkled human ear. Soft, gelatinous and a date-brown colour, but when it dries it is much smaller, darker and harder. Upper surface is velvety, and is attached laterally by a small stalk. Up to 8cm across.

Where to find: Commonly found on living or dead wood of elder, but also recorded on many other woody species.

7. Common Stinkhorn – Phallus impudicus
Common Stinkhorn by Obas via Flickr

Identification: Known for releasing a foul odour to attract flies which eat the spore-bearing slimy head. The foul smell can be detected far and wide, most often before seeing it. Initially it appears like a white egg which feels soft, but then later splits at the apex and a thick, white hollow stem appears with a polystyrene texture. Head is conical shaped, slimy and olive-green topped by a small, white ring. Grows up to 25 cm tall.

Where to find: Among leaf litter in woodlands and also in gardens.

8. Chicken of the Woods – Laetiporus sulphureus
Chicken of the Woods by Thijs de Bruin via Flickr

Other common names: Sulphur Polypore, Crab of the Woods and Sulphur Shelf

Identification: A thick, fleshy, bracket that is fan-shaped and soft to touch. Older brackets become sharp-edged with a dry, chalky texture. The upper surface is initially bright orange or yellow with a velvety touch, this later fades to a creamy-yellow with a smooth, dry surface. The very small pores on the underside are a pale yellow. Bracket is 10-40cm across.

Where to find: Can be found growing tiered mostly on oak trunks but also on sweet chestnut, yew and beech.

9. Scarlet Elfcup – Sarcoscypha austriaca
Scarlet Elfcup by Claire Dell via Flickr

Identification: Are cup-shaped and scarlet, however can also be bright orange. Stems attach to the leaf litter making them appear as hollow bowls lying on the woodland floors. Cups are roughly 4cm across.

Where to find: Although not very common it is reasonably widespread, and can be found in damp, shady areas on decaying sticks and branches. It can be found on the fallen twigs and branches of hazel, elm and willow in late winter and early spring.

10. Beefsteak Fungus – Fistulina hepatica
Beefsteak Fungus by Curiosity thrills via Flickr

Identification: This strange fungus appears like an ox tongue or piece of raw meat and oozes a blood like substance when cut. When young the bracket is soft and moist with a pinky-red upperside and broad margin. Older brackets are a liver-brown and much firmer with a sharp edge. The underside has yellow pores which release red-brown spores and often exude a red, blood like liquid. Brackets are about 8-20 cm across and 3-6 cm thick.

Where to find: Usually found low on the trunk of old, living oak trees and sweet chestnut trees, and sometimes on their stumps.

Recommended Reading/Guides:


Collins Fungi Guide: The Most Complete Field Guide to the Mushrooms & Toadstools of Britain & Ireland


Nearly 2400 species are illustrated in full colour, with detailed notes on how to correctly identify them, including details of similar, confusing species.


Collins Complete Guide to British Mushrooms & Toadstools


By only covering Britain and Ireland, fewer species are included than in many broader European guides, making it quicker and easier for the reader to accurately identify what they have found.



Fungi of Temperate Europe (2-Volume Set)


This lavish two-volume set treats more than 2,800 species of fungi across the region.


Collection by Geoffrey Kibby

Full collection of books 

Geoffrey Kibby is one of Britain’s foremost experts on identifying mushrooms in the field and has published a range of excellent guides/handbooks to mushroom identification.



Grassland Fungi: A Field Guide (Second Edition)


The second edition draws on an additional three years of surveying done over a wider area, adding 23 new species to the 177 already described in the first edition



Bloomsbury Concise Mushroom Guide


This illustrated mini field guide is packed with information on 200 species of fungi found in Britain and the near Continent.




Edible Mushrooms: A Forager’s Guide to the Wild Fungi of Britain, Ireland and Europe


An up-to-date, comprehensive and brilliantly illustrated book on fungi foraging in Britain and Europe. It covers every known edible species, and all the poisonous groups, as well as a few other extremely common ones.


The Fungi Name-Trail: A Key to Commoner Fungi


Key to some of the more easily recognised fungi present in Britain’s woods and fields. The name trial takes you through a series of yes or no questions to help you identify your fungi.


The NHBS Guide to UK Tree Identification

Trees are a vital part of our ecosystems and essential to all life. As well as providing homes and food for a wide range of wildlife, they also provide us with oxygen and clean air, and they help to conserve water and stabilise the surrounding soil. As such, trees are invaluable both to our environment and for human well-being. 

In the UK there are more than 60 native tree species, each with its own distinctive features that can help with identification. In this blog we will focus on ten of our most common native trees and provide you with the key characteristics you need to look out for – soon you’ll be confident in recognising oak from elder and silver birch from ash. 

How to identify a tree: 

The best time to identify a tree is when it is in leaf. By looking at the size and shape of the leaves/needles, the structure of the bark, and any other features present such as seeds, berries or flowers, you have a great chance of working out what the species is. It can be a bit more tricky if you’re looking in winter when the tree is bare, but there are several good books that will help you out (take a look at our recommended reading list at the bottom of this post for our top suggestions).

Ten common British trees and how to identify them:

1. Pedunculate oak (Quercus robur)
Oak by Gedomaru via Flickr

Where to find: Also known as common or English oak, this ancient tree is one of Britain’s most iconic species, standing tall for hundreds of years. It can be found across the country in both urban and rural areas. (Not to be confused with the sessile oak which is our other native species of oak – see below for tips on distinguishing between the two).

How to identify: The pedunculate oak is a large deciduous tree growing up to 40m tall. It has grey bark when young which becomes darker brown and develops long vertical fissures as it ages. Leaves have familiar deep-lobed margins with smooth edges. Acorns hang from the tree on long stalks. 

Pedunculate oak leaves have smooth-lobed edges and acorns grow singly at the end of long stems. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Look out for: If you aren’t sure whether you’re looking at a pedunculate oak or a sessile oak, there are a couple of things you can check for. Pedunculate oak leaves have quite a short stem and more pronounced lobes at the bottom of the leaf. Acorns grow singly at the end of a long stem. Sessile oak leaves have a shorter stem and do not have lobes near the stem. Their acorns grow in clusters that are attached directly to the outer twigs.

2. Ash (Fraxinus excelsior)
Ash tree by David Radcliffe via Flickr

Where to find: Ash is a common, widespread tree often found among British hedgerows and in many mixed deciduous woods in the UK.

How to identify: Ash grows up to a height of 30–40m. The bark is pale brown and fissures as the tree ages. Leaves are pinnately compound, usually comprising three to six opposite pairs of light green, oval leaflets. The buds are a sooty black with upturned grey shoots.

Ash leaves showing a small black bud at the base. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Look out for:  Sadly, ash is also identified by a serious disease called ash dieback (or chalara) that is a substantial threat to the species. The fungus appears as black blotches on the leaves and affected trees usually die within a couple of years.

3. Common Lime (Tilia x europaea)
Lime tree by louis.quinzexv via Flickr

Where to find: The sweet smelling lime is native to much of Europe. Although rare in the wild, it is commonly found in parks and along residential streets.

How to identify: Common lime is a tall, broadleaf tree with dark green heart-shaped leaves which are are mostly hairless, except for cream or white hairs on the underside of the leaf between the joints of the veins. It is known for its sweet smelling white-yellow flowers, that hang in clusters of two to five and that develop into round, oval fruits with pointed tips. 

Lime leaves are heart shaped and delicate. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Look out for: The common lime can be distinguished from other lime varieties by the tufts of white hair at the end of its twigs (in small-leaved lime hairs are red, and large-leaved lime has them all over the underside). 

4. Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna)
Hawthorn by David Lee via Flickr

Where to find: An ancient tree steeped in mythology and folklore, hawthorn is most commonly found growing in hedgerows, woodland and scrub. 

How to identify: Hawthorn has dense, thorny foliage and, if left to fully mature, can grow to a height of 15m. The shiny lobed leaves are among the first to appear in spring. It’s five-petalled flowers are white or pink and grow in flat topped clusters. In autumn and winter, trees are covered in deep red fruits known as haws.  

Hawthorn flowers have five petals and are white or pale pink. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Look out for: This species often hybridises with the UK’s other native hawthorn, Midland hawthorn (Crataegus laevigata). They look very similar and can be hard to tell apart.

5. Hazel (Corylus avellana)
Hazel by Stoutcob via Flickr

Where to find: Used regularly for coppicing, hazel can be found in a range of habitats, including woodlands, gardens and grasslands. 

How to identify: A small shrubby tree with smooth, grey-brown bark, hazel can reach up to 12m in height if left uncoppiced. Its leaves are oval, toothed, and have soft hairs on their underside. In late winter, before the leaves have grown, it produces long yellow catkins that hang in clusters. These later develop into hazelnuts.

Hazel produces long yellow catkins which hang in small clusters. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Look out for: Easily confused with English elm, they can be distinguished by the shape and feel of the leaves. Elm leaves have an asymmetric base and have rough feeling hairs.  Hazel leaves are symmetrical at the base and feel soft and downy. 

6. Common Alder (Alnus glutinosa)
Alder via Flickr

Where to find: Common alder enjoys moist ground and so can be found along riversides, fens and wet woodlands, often providing shelter to fish. Interestingly, alder wood does not rot when it becomes wet, but instead becomes stronger and harder.

How to identify: Alder is a deciduous tree that grows to 25m. It is broadly conical in shape, and the bark is dark and fissured. Leaves are racquet-shaped and tough. Female catkins are present on the tree all year round and look like small green or brown cones. Male catkins also appear on the same tree and are longer and thinner. Alder can also be recognised by its purple buds and purple twigs with orange markings in winter. 

Female catkins become woody and cone-like towards the winter when they open up to release their seeds. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Look out for: Can be confused with hazel – they can be told apart by the appearance of the leaves which are shiny and leathery in comparison to the soft downy leaves of the hazel.

7. Holly (Ilex aquifolium)
Holly by Douglas Cox via Flickr

Where to find: A favourite in Christmas decorations, holly is widespread and found commonly in woodland, scrub and hedgerows. 

How to identify: This easy-to-recognise evergreen tree has smooth bark with small warts and dark brown stems. Its shiny, leathery leaves usually have prickles along the edges, but can also be smooth in older trees. It can grow up to 15m in height and produces scarlet berries that remain on the plant throughout the winter. 

Holly leaves on younger trees have sharp prickles around the edge of their tough, leathery leaves. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Look out for: Although holly leaves usually have prickles, those on older trees or that are on the upper parts of the plant often have smoother edges.

8. White Willow (Salix alba)
Salix alba via Wikimedia Commons

Where to find: The weeping, romantic willow can be spotted growing in wet ground, often along riverbanks and around lakes where it trails its branches into the water. 

How to identify: White willow is a the largest species of willow in the UK, growing up to 25m with an irregular, leaning crown. Its foliage appears silvery due to its pale, oval leaves that carry silky, white hairs on the underside. In early spring look out for its long yellow catkins and in winter try to spot the green-yellow narrow buds that grow close to the twig.

White willow leaves appear silvery due to the downy hairs on the underside. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Look out for: There are several species of willow in the UK, including white willow, grey willow, weeping willow, goat willow and crack willow. These often hybridise in the wild.

9. Silver Birch (Betula pendula)
Silver Birch by Jan Roles via Flickr

Where to find: A pioneer species, silver birch is a popular garden tree, and thrives in moorlands, heathland and dry and sandy soils.

How to identify: Silver birch can be easily recognised by its silver, papery bark which sheds like tissue paper. It has drooping branches and can reach 30m in height. Leaves are triangular-shaped with toothed edges and grow from hairless leaf stalks. In spring, flowers appear as yellow-brown catkins that hang in groups. Once pollinated, female catkins thicken and darken to a crimson colour. 

Birch catkins are often described as ‘lambs tails’. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Look out for: Silver birch is monoecious, meaning that both male and female catkins are found on the same tree. In April and May, try to distinguish the long yellow-brown male catkins from the short, erect green females ones.

10. Elder (Sambucus nigra)
Elder by Rüdiger Heiß via Flickr

Where to find: Historically known for its magical properties and hugely favoured by foragers, elder appears in hedges, scrub, woodland, waste and cultivated ground.

How to identify:  Elder can grow to around 15m and has a short, greyish-brown trunk that develops deep creases as it ages. It has compound leaves; each leaf divided into five to seven leaflets. In summer, elder is recognised by its creamy, sweet-smelling white flowers that hang in sprays. In the autumn these develop into bunches of deep, purple berries. 

In the spring the elder tree features sprays of fragrant white flowers. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Look out for: In winter, elder twigs are green and have an unpleasant smell. They have a white soft pith inside.

Recommended reading and guides:

Collins Tree Guide: The Most Complete Field Guide to the Trees of Britain and Europe

An essential, definitive guide to the trees of Britain and non-Mediterranean Europe. Containing some of the finest original tree illustrations ever produced, this is one of the most important tree guides to have appeared in the last 20 years.



The Tree Name Trail: A Key to Common Trees

This 12-page laminated fold-out chart contains a full-colour illustrated key to the leaves, twigs, fruits and seeds of the commonest broadleaved and coniferous trees of Britain and Ireland.




Tree-Spotting: A Simple Guide to Britain’s Trees

A beautiful and captivating insight into the wonderful world of trees, Tree-Spotting burrows down into the history and hidden secrets of each species. It explores how our relationship with trees can be very personal, and hopes to bring you closer to the natural world around you.



RSPB First Book of Trees

Through beautiful full-page illustrations accompanied by key information about each tree, the First Book of Trees is designed to encourage young children’s interest in the outside world and the trees they encounter during their adventures.




Tree Story: The History of the World Written in Trees

A dendrochronological delight, the beautifully written and illustrated Tree Story reveals the utterly fascinating world of tree-ring research and how it matters to archaeology, palaeoclimatology and environmental history.




Winter Trees: A Photographic Guide to Common Trees and Shrubs

This AIDGAP guide covers 36 of the common broad-leaved deciduous species, or groups of species, that are most likely to be found in the UK, as well as a few rarer trees. It provides all the information you need to begin identifying trees in winter from their buds, bark, size and habitat.



Identification of Trees and Shrubs in Winter using Buds and Twigs

A practical guide to identifying trees and shrubs in winter. Comprehensive and easy to use, it contains over 700 species identifiable via their winter buds and twigs. The illustrated identification keys are easy to use, and a summary set of keys are provided as an appendix.


Seven Female Nature and Science Writers to Read for International Women’s Day

To celebrate International Women’s Day we have put together a selection of incredible nature and science writing books from some brilliant female writers. 

Tamed: Ten Species that Changed our World

by Alice Roberts

In Tamed, Dr. Alice Roberts uncovers the amazing deep history of ten familiar species with incredible wild pasts: dogs, apples and wheat; cattle; potatoes and chickens; rice, maize, and horses – and, finally, humans. Alice Roberts not only reveals how becoming part of our world changed these animals and plants but shows how they became our allies, essential to the survival and success of our own species – and to our future.                                                            

Poached: Inside the Dark World of Wildlife Tracking

by Rachel Love Nuwer

In Poached, science journalist Rachel Nuwer takes us on a harrowing journey to the frontlines of the illegal wildlife trade, exploring the forces currently driving demand for animals and their parts – such as the widespread abuses of Chinese medicine and the links with drug trafficking and international crime cartels – and introduces us to the individuals battling to save them: the scientists and activists who believe it is not too late to stop the impending extinctions.

Spirals in Time: The Secret Life and Curious Afterlife of Seashells

by Helen Scales

Helen Scales tells the story of the seashell, showing how these simple objects have been sculpted by fundamental rules of mathematics and evolution, how they gave us colour, gems, food and money, and how they are prompting new medicines and teaching scientists how our brains work. Seashells offer an accessible way to reconnect people with nature, helping to heal the rift between ourselves and the undersea world. 

H is for Hawk

by Helen Macdonald 

Destined to be a classic of nature writing, H is for Hawk is a record of a spiritual journey – an unflinchingly honest account of Macdonald’s struggle with grief during the difficult process of the hawk’s taming and her own untaming. At the same time, it’s a kaleidoscopic biography of the brilliant and troubled novelist T. H. White, best known for The Once and Future King. It’s a book about memory, nature and nation, and how it might be possible to try to reconcile death with life and love.


Field Guide to the Ladybirds of Britain and Ireland

by Helen E Roy

Professor Helen Roy’s research focuses on the effects of environmental change on insect populations and communities. This illustrated field guide covers all 47 species of ladybird occurring in Britain and Ireland in a handy and easy-to-use format. Twenty-six species are colourful and conspicuous and easily recognised as ladybirds; the remaining species are more challenging, but the clear illustrations and up-to-date text in Field Guide to the Ladybirds of Britain and Ireland will help to break down the identification barriers.


A Crack in Creation: The New Power to Control Evolution 

by Jennifer Doudna

CRISPR is a breakthrough discovery in genetic modification that is causing a revolution. It is an invention that allows us to rewrite the genetic code that shapes and controls all living beings with astonishing accuracy and ease. Jennifer Doudna is the co-inventor of this technology and a scientist of worldwide renown. Writing with fellow researcher Samuel Sternberg, here she provides the definitive account of her discovery, explaining how this wondrous invention works and what it is capable of.


Bats: An Illustrated Guide to All Species

by Marianne Taylor

Marianne Taylor has written prolifically on the natural world. This lavishly illustrated handbook offers in-depth profiles of 300 megabats and microbats and detailed summaries of all the species identified to date. An endlessly fascinating guide with an introduction exploring their natural history and unique adaptations to life on the wing. Bats includes close-up images of these animals’ delicate, intricate and sometimes grotesque forms and faces, each shaped by evolution to meet the demands of an extraordinarily specialized life.