The Running Hare

The Running Hare: The Secret Life of Farmland

Non-Fiction, Languages & Reference, Dictionaries & Reference, Natural World & Environment, Nature Writing
Paperback Published on: 20/04/2017
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Bookseller Reviews

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The Running Hare
A Hop Through the Life of A Wheatfield
This adventure begins with a dream - the author's dream of remembering hearing, as a young boy in the Seventies, a corncrake, a bird now extinct in this co... READ MORE
The Running Hare
lyrical and nostalgic
I requested to review this book after reading Lewis-Stempel's 'secret life of the owl' which i adored. Lewis-Stempel writes beautifully of his experiences ... READ MORE


The Sunday Times Bestseller from the Winner of the Thwaites Wainwright Prize 2015.

Shortlisted for the Wainwright Golden Beer Book Prize 2017

The Farmer is to blame. The Supermarket too. And let us not forget the Politician, and the Consumer. Let us not omit Me or You.

Really: I just want the birds back.

Traditional ploughland is disappearing.

Seven cornfield flowers have become extinct in the last twenty years. Once abundant, the corn bunting and the lapwing are on the Red List. The corncrake is all but extinct in England. And the hare is running for its life.

Written in exquisite prose, The Running Hare tells the story of the wild animals and plants that live in and under our ploughland, from the labouring microbes to the patrolling kestrel above the corn, from the linnet pecking at seeds to the seven-spot ladybird that eats the aphids that eat the crop. It recalls an era before open-roofed factories and silent, empty fields, recording the ongoing destruction of the unique, fragile, glorious ploughland that exists just down the village lane.

But it is also the story of ploughland through the eyes of man who took on a field and husbanded it in a natural, traditional way, restoring its fertility and wildlife, bringing back the old farmland flowers and animals. John Lewis Stempel demonstrates that it is still possible to create a place where the hare can rest safe.

'Fans of Lewis-Stempel's bestselling Meadowland will find here the same easy-reading prose fuelled by daft-as-a-brush enthusiasm and embellished with lyrical flourishes ... the mud-spattered details of a farming life lend The Running Hare a unique realness.' - The Mail on Sunday

  • Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
  • ISBN: 9781784160746
  • Number of pages: 304
  • Weight: 240g
  • Dimensions: 196 x 126 x 24 mm

Customer Reviews

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The Running Hare
A bitter account of the countryside today. Poorly researched on the most part.
P South