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Vote for the UK's favourite nature book

Vote for the UK's favourite nature book

The Wind in the Willows and Tarka the Otter are among ten works shortlisted for a public poll to find the nation's favourite nature book.

The poll is part of the Land Lines research project led by the University of Leeds that is examining how nature writing in the UK has changed over the last 200 years, and what it reveals about our relationship with the natural world.

"We were blown away by the phenomenal response from the public. It was a very difficult decision to come up with the final list of ten."

Professor Graham Huggan

Professor Graham Huggan, from the School of English, who chaired the panel which picked the shortlist, said: "We were blown away by the phenomenal response from the public.

"We received hundreds of nominations and witnessed some of the extraordinarily rich conversations which took place on social media as people championed their favourite books. It was a very difficult decision to come up with the final list of ten."

A total of 213 writers were nominated, covering 278 different titles.

A three-week poll run by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, which is funding the research, will now give people a chance to vote for their favourite book and the winner will be announced on the BBC's Winterwatch programme at the end of January.

“People are turning to literature as well as other cultural forms because of their love for the natural world and their great fear at what appears to be happening to it.

Dr Pippa Marland

Dr Pippa Marland, a Research Fellow on the project at Leeds, added: “People are turning to literature as well as other cultural forms because of their love for the natural world and their great fear at what appears to be happening to it through climate change and the loss of species.

“The written word is enormously powerful and rich and there are probably things that you can gain from the experience of reading a nature book that you can’t from watching the screen or your computer.”

The shortlisted books:

The Peregrine by JA Baker
Poems by John Clare
Common Ground by Rob Cowen
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
Findings by Kathleen Jamie
The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris
Fingers in the Sparkle Jar by Chris Packham
The Living Mountain by Nan Shepherd
The Natural History of Selborne by Gilbert White
Tarka the Otter by Henry Williamson.

To vote in the poll, which closes at midnight on 25 January, visit: www.ahrc.ac.uk/favouritenaturebooks

The two-year research project involves researchers at Leeds and colleagues from the Universities of St Andrews and Sussex.

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