Butterfly Conservation shop finds a new home at NHBS

Butterfly Conservation and NHBS have recently launched the new Butterfly Conservation online shop in partnership. You can browse and buy from a fantastic range of books, gifts and equipment. Every sale raises funds to support conservation work to protect vulnerable butterflies and moths across the UK.

Butterfly Conservation shop at NHBS
The brand new Butterfly Conservation shop, hosted by NHBS

The popular Butterfly Conservation Christmas Cards are available now. Spread some festive cheer this Christmas and help protect butterflies and moths at the same time. All the cards are printed on FSC recycled card and are blank inside so you can add your own greeting.

Butterfly Conservation 2016 Christmas Cards
Butterfly Conservation 2016 Christmas Cards

About the Butterfly Conservation and NHBS partnership

Butterfly Conservation is the UK charity dedicated to saving butterflies and moths. Butterflies and moths are key indicators of the health of our environment. They connect us to nature and contribute to our wellbeing. With over 30 nature reserves across the United Kingdom, Butterfly Conservation works in many ways to conserve butterflies and moths and improve their habitats, creating a better environment for us all.

Butterfly Conservation:
“NHBS offer the world’s largest selection of wildlife, science and conservation books, and have expanded their range to include ecology and biodiversity survey equipment and gifts. They have a fantastic reputation for customer service and quality items, and we are thrilled to be able to offer our members and supporters the chance to purchase a wider selection of items whilst still being able to raise vital funds for our conservation work.”

Visit the Butterfly Conservation shop

EFE & GB Nets becomes part of NHBS

EFE & GB Nets
EFE & GB Nets: plankton net at sea

EFE & GB Nets has been manufacturing marine and freshwater survey nets and entomological survey equipment in the UK since 1974 and is renowned for the quality and durability of its products. On May 17th, NHBS acquired EFE & GB Nets and began the process of transferring the workshop from Lostwithiel in Cornwall to our new facility alongside our warehouse in Totnes. Production will resume in the next few days and everyone at NHBS is extremely excited about the opportunities that expanding into manufacturing brings.

Bernard Mercer, founder and chairman of NHBS said: “we are delighted and honoured to be the new owner of EFE & GB Nets, which has been supplying great products to conservationists for over 40 years. We aim to maintain the excellent design and manufacturing standards for which EFE & GB Nets is known; and also hope to develop innovative new products that meet the needs of the conservation community, both in the UK and internationally.”

The familiar trademark orange flashing around the mouth of each net will remain a clear mark of quality and durability.

As well as the complete range of marine, freshwater and entomological survey equipment produced by EFE & GB Nets, we are also very happy to undertake bespoke design projects, including entirely new nets and other equipment. Please contact our Wildlife Equipment Engineer, Thomas Hamilton Koch (thomashk@nhbs.com) to discuss your ideas.

Preparations underway in the new EFE & GB Nets manufacturing unit.
Preparations underway in the new EFE & GB Nets manufacturing unit.


NHBS acquires British Wildlife and Conservation Land Management magazines

In March 2016, NHBS acquired the two magazines British Wildlife and Conservation Land Management from Bloomsbury Publishing.

Since itBritish Wildlife 27(3)s launch in 1989, British Wildlife has established its position as the leading natural history magazine in the UK, providing essential reading for both enthusiasts and professional naturalists and wildlife conservationists. There is no other publication that offers such high-quality, authoritative, well-researched and accessible articles on such a wide range of subjects.


OrigiConservation Land Management 13(4)nally published by Natural England, Conservation Land Management is a quarterly magazine designed for those involved in managing land. Articles focus on a wide range of issues, using up-to-date case studies to support practical solutions. Additional information, including costings, materials and equipment, is presented in easy-to-follow boxes and diagrams.


Both magazines were published until 2013 by British Wildlife Publishing under the direction of Andrew Branson, and have now found a permanent home with NHBS.

NHBS founder Bernard Mercer about the acquisition of British Wildlife:
“We are thrilled and honoured to be the publisher of one of the great assets of the British wildlife, natural history, conservation and ecology world, and will do all in our power to continue the high-quality papers, articles, news and opinion for which it is known.”

The administration of the magazines will move to NHBS over the coming weeks; if you are a subscriber to British Wildlife or Conservation Land Management, please rest assured that there will be no interruption to your subscription.

Where’s my order?

Ever wondered if your delivery is on the way? Well now you don’t have to.

Our IT team have been busy improving our on-line services and introduced a real-time order status. Simply log in to your account and select ‘Recent Orders’ to have a look.

Dropdown  menu

The page shows all the information you need to review current and past orders, including the order number, the date, value, and its status. If you want to know more, simply click on an order to get the expanded view to see the quantity and price of each product ordered, shipping and delivery addresses, as well as shipping type, cost, and payment type.

This expanded version also gives you precise details on the state of individual products ordered; this way you can see exactly what is happening to each item in your order.

Recent Order Display

How we moved 27 people, 1 km of shelving, 140,000 stock units and an inflatable dolphin to our new warehouse

NHBS has been based in Wills Road and Burke Road (named for the explorers of the 1860 Burke and Wills expedition in Australia) in the Devon town of Totnes since 1986. We had long outgrown these warehouse and office premises and had been keeping an eye open for a new building for several years. In January 2014 an ideal building became available and the best news was that it’s just around the corner at 1-6 The Stables in Ford Road (the area that now comprises Totnes’ trading estate was once a racecourse, hence ‘The Stables’).

The new NHBS presmises

A photo gallery of move-related images is available on our Facebook page.

This new building more than doubles our storage space to in excess of 1,200 sq m (13,000 sq ft). We’ve outfitted a purpose-built office area, meeting rooms, shower facilities for the dedicated cyclists/runners, a faster data connection, a staff room and kitchen, 600 m of new shelving, a more efficient heating system and a large pallet racking zone for >100 pallets of bulk stock.

After three months of building work the move to this premises was concluded just before Christmas. We had lots of extra NHBS staff on hand and remained fully operational, delivering thousands of gifts during the holiday period.

Here is some extra information if you’re interested:

How did you do this while remaining fully operational in the run up to Christmas? That is a good question…

  • We spent six weeks having the site converted from a factory/warehouse complex into a warehouse/office.
  • New heating, electrics, security, fire safety and CCTV systems were installed.
  • Data cabling for desk areas, servers and high-speed wifi were set-up.
  • On the first weekend of November we moved the office and office staff into the new premises. From then on all Customer Services and other office functions were operating from The Stables (albeit with a lot of running back-and-forth).
  • We moved a significant proportion of NHBS stock from its shelves in the warehouse onto super-organised temporary shelving in the old office area including lots of makeshift storage locations.
  • The Goods Inward and Dispatch Team put away stock and picked/packed orders from the temporary storage locations. Mild chaos ensued but almost nothing went missing.
  • An external warehouse (Unit 1) at our new site was fitted-out with pallet racking for 100 pallets. Training began on the Mini Bendi forklift.
  • The warehouse shelving was taken apart where possible and large sections were carried from the old warehouse to the new in pyramid-building style.
  • 600 m of new shelving was assembled and placed alongside reconfigured existing shelves.
  • Bulk stock was moved on pallets to Unit 1.
  • Over several epic weekends NHBS staff (earning 370.75 hours of overtime) moved stock from our old location onto shelves at The Stables. All stock was scanned into storage locations with new handheld barcode scanners so the database knows exactly where every single item is.
  • By mid-December all NHBS staff were working from The Stables.
  • A vast number of remaining shelf units, stock items, and odds & ends were shuttled across in the last two weeks of 2014.

Why didn’t you move at a quieter time of year?
Surveys and the legal bits took ages. Besides, we have quite a few peak periods throughout the year so there was never going to be a ‘good’ time to do the move.

How far are your new premises from the old building?
140 m as the crow flies (300 m if you can’t fly).

What’s the new address?
NHBS, 1-6 The Stables, Ford Road, Totnes, Devon, TQ9 5LE, UK.

Does NHBS’ phone number or email address change?
Our phone number (+44 1803 865913) and email address (customer.services@nhbs.com) are the same.

How does it affect customers?
We’ll have more stock, more efficient picking/packing and even happier colleagues.

How many stock items have been moved?
Depends how you count the small things like test tubes and sampling pots, and components of sets etc. The number we mostly refer to is 140,000 items.

What’s a Mini Bendi?
It’s a species of forklift truck (there a photo of the Bendi in our Facebook Gallery) – we bought one for the move and have two members of staff trained to use it. It means we can make more use of pallet racking to store bulk stock.

Series Update Part 1: New series announced: Spiders, Fauna of Suriname and two new botanicals

Since the last time we posted on the subject, a lot has happened in the world of book series. Just recently, some wonderful new monograph series have been announced, filling gaps in the literature. Here are the highlights:

The Spiders of Europe, a Synthesis of Data, Volume 1 jacket imageThe Spiders of Europe, a Synthesis of Data, published by the Société Linnéenne de Lyon in four volumes, is a welcome new overview of current knowledge about the European spiders, with the first volume, Atypidae to Theridiidae, available now.

Flora of Nepal, Volume 3 jacket imageThe Flora of Nepal is an ambitious project coordinated by the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh. The publication of ten volumes of the Flora of Nepal is planned, Volume 3: Magnoliaceae to Roseaceae being available now.

The Fauna of Suriname is being developed by a number of agencies in Suriname and the Netherlands, with the first two volumes on Freshwater Fishes of Suriname and Amphibians of Suriname due this spring.

The Genus Carex L. (Cyperaceae) in Europe, 1 jacket imageSedges receive treatment in the new series Carex Europaea, with the first volume, The Genus Carex L. (Cyperaceae) in Europe, 1: Accepted names, hybrids, synonyms, distribution, chromosome numbers, available now.

You can set up a standing order with NHBS for these, and any other series, that we list on nhbs.com.

Look out next month for Part 2 of our Series Update which will look at ongoing series which have recently been resurrected, with new volumes published after a long break in publication.

Burke and Wills and the NHBS Connection

NHBS is on Wills Road, on the edge of Totnes, a small town in Devon. Wills Road is named after William John Wills, of the Burke and Wills expedition, who famously perished in the wilds of South Australia in 1861 at the age of 27. Wills was born in Totnes, hence the name of the road, and the statue in the town centre. Robert O’Hara Burke, though not from Totnes, is also commemorated by having a road named after him, his road runs behind the NHBS warehouse; in other words we are right between the two of them.

We were reminded of Totnes’ famous son when we read the announcement of a new book recently: Burke and Wills: The Scientific Legacy of the Victorian Exploring Expedition, published by CSIRO and due to be available in the UK in November. This book deals with the scientific achievements of the expedition and its successive relief groups, rather than the much-publicised failures that led to the deaths of seven of the expedition’s members.

Regardless of the serendipitous connection between Burke & Wills and NHBS, I am rather looking forward to seeing a copy of this book, as it fills a large gap in the scientific literature of exploration, and it contains many original illustrations.

Pre-order today

NHBS at Birdfair 2011

Birdfair 2011: Friday 19th – Sunday 21st August

Birdfair Best Stand Award 2010
2010 was a good year!


NHBS are off to Rutland Water again this month for Birdfair 2011.

We look forward to seeing you all there again – as usual you will encounter a great range of books covering ornithology from all angles: field guides, monographs, avian science, photography; plus a wide selection of books concerning British and World wildlife: entomology, wildlife travel, natural history writing and much more.

You’ll also be able to browse a huge range of wildlife conservation equipment and field kit – and we are hoping you can come and chat with NHBS Ambassador, Nick Baker at the stand about all things wild, and see how he got on with the Stealth Gear One Man Chair Hide – probably on the Saturday (time to be confirmed…*CONFIRMED, see times here*)!

Come and see us in Marquee: 2, at Stands 15, 33, 34 and meet the authors that will be visiting the NHBS stand to sign copies of their books.

Birdfair 2011: NHBS Author Signings Schedule

Saturday 20th August

11.30am Nils van Duivendijk:  Advanced Bird ID Handbook

2pm Mike Unwin: The Atlas of Birds

3pm David Lindo: The Urban Birder

Sunday 21st August

11am Richard Crossley: The Crossley ID Guide

Birdfair 2011

At the EURASLIC Meeting, Lyon – about hard-to-find books in Marine Biology

A few weeks ago, I attended the 14th Biennial EURASLIC Meeting. EURASLIC is the European Association of Aquatic Sciences Libraries and Information Centres. This year’s meeting on the topic Caught in the “fishing net” of information was hosted by Cemagref, in Lyon, France. The weather was lovely, the food excellent, and it was a joy to spend a few days in the company of extremely knowledgeable librarians from many countries.

Among other things, I talked on the topic of hard-to-find books in Marine Biology (here is the Powerpoint Presentation of my talk). At NHBS, we have great experience in identifying and cataloguing specialist titles published by small publishers, and we know how much effort is involved in the process. In passing the information on to libraries through our Monthly Catalogue, our online catalogue, and topical newsletters, we hope to make these publications known to a much wider audience. Every week, we see new books that are not available to buy from mainstream booksellers.

Some examples of titles that should be on the shelves of every marine biology library in Europe, but are not always known to librarians, include:

Coastal PlanktonCoastal Plankton: Published by German publisher Pfeil who specialise in paleontological publications, but have lately published more books related to marine biology. Their latest title is The Field Guide for Sharks of the Genus Carcharhinus.



Subterranean Fishes of the World: The only book ever published by the International Society for Subterranean Biology, and not very easy to get hold of.


Handbook of European Freshwater Fishes: published by the author, this book is an essential reference for any marine biology library.


Subscribe to the NHBS Monthly Catalogue to stay up-to-date on all new publications in the natural sciences as they are published.

The meeting in Lyon was very enjoyable, I hope to be able to come to the next EURASLIC meeting in 2013 in Moscow!

E-books in Libraries

e-books in librariesBooks in digital formats have been around for decades, but until now there has never been a comprehensive overview to help librarians navigate the maze of formats and delivery options they are faced with.  This year, the library science section of the NHBS catalogue has grown by several volumes on the subject.  One of them, a title published by Facet Publishing, has caught my eye:

E-books in Libraries:  A Practical Guide is an excellent all-round introduction to the subject, and should prove very popular with librarians in all types of libraries. The chapters provide practical information on collection development, pricing and delivery models, digitisation, technological challenges, user training and more. The contributors are based mainly in the UK, and include a publisher as well as librarians and information professionals.  The subject coverage and the wealth of practical information covered by this title are very impressive.

E-books in Libraries provides an illuminating chapter towards the end, where all contributors are asked to speculate freely on the future of e-books and publishing. This section makes for a fascinating read, and provides food for thought for anybody who is involved in the dissemination of information.

The beautiful irony of this title is that it is not available in electronic format – yet (this is planned for the near future). The publisher helpfully provides the first chapter as a pdf-file to read here.

Other related titles of interest include Collection Development in the Digital Age (also by Facet and due in August), and e-books in Academic libraries by Chandos Publishing.