Winner of the Marsh Book of the Year Award (2015)
Throughout British history rivers have been of profound economic, social and cultural importance - yet as we see with increasing frequency they have the potential to wreak great destruction. This book describes the natural and not-so-natural changes that have affected British rivers since the last ice age and looks at the many plants and animals that live along, above and within them. Detailed case studies of the Meon, Dee and Endrick illustrate the incredibly varied nature of our river ecosystems, and the natural and human factors that make each one different. Written by two widely respected river ecologists, the book looks not only at rivers as they were and are but also at how they can be managed and cared for. Full of interesting facts and stunning images, Rivers is essential reading for anyone professionally involved in rivers and for the naturalist, conservationist and layman alike. It is the one book you need to understand this singularly important and often contentious feature of the British landscape.
Rivers through the ages
The making and shaping of Britain's rivers
Assessing the health of rivers
Plants of river banks, floodplains and valley sides
Small creatures without backbones
Fish, amphibians and reptiles
Birds and mammals
A comparison of three rivers: the Meon, Dee and Endrick
Caring for our rivers once again
The prose flows easily, poetically in places, with clarity in the technical passages, and all punctuated by copious beautiful colour photos....it really should be on the shelves of everyone who loves our rivers. -- Simon Bates * BES Bulletin *If you have any interest in current natural history or conservation, this beautifully illustrated volume is a must. -- Brett Westwood * BBC Wildlife *This is the third volume in a new series which I would urge readers to get as this could be the start of the most important series of wildlife books to come out for many years ... this is as good an account as I can remember reading on this vexed subject. -- Ray Collier * Highland News *Infinitely both readable and comprehensive. The style is light and accessible but the coverage is wide ...the description here of the hydrology of rivers and its relation to the underlying geology is the best that I have ever read...The description of the plants and animals associated with rivers is readable, comprehensive and excellent. -- Ann Powell * Freshwater Reviews *
Having undertaken PhD studies on the River Tweed and practical research on river transfers at Durham University, Nigel Holmes was from 1978 the Nature Conservancy Council's river specialist. He developed several survey and assessment methods that are used nationally and internationally, and formed the River Restoration Centre in 1992.
Paul Raven has been a conservation professional since undertaking detailed studies of the River Roding in Essex for his PhD. He was the first national conservation officer for the National Rivers Authority, was head of ecology for the Environment Agency, and continues his work in conservation and freshwaters in particular.