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This Common Uncommon by Rae Howells

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When a local common is threatened with development, one poet explores its secrets, discovering extraordinary natural treasures and wonderful people fighting to defend them. Can they save this uncommon common?

Everybody had written it off as waste ground. But when a planning application is made to build houses on this wild and green patch of Gower common, something magical emerges. From the star-nose of the polecat and the bold zigzags of adders to the delicate yellow blooms of a bog asphodel glade, this small patch of common land has revealed dozens of unexpected wonders. Hiding beneath the bracken is a wet heathland, brimming with bog plants, fed by layers of nutrient-rich peat and supporting scores of species, a vanishingly rare habitat in the UK.

Using her nature poet’s eye for detail and treading in the footsteps of the original poet of the commons, John Clare, Howells brings to life the story of this threatened land. Her poems ring with passion for this wild place, recording the many rare plants and animals that will be lost if the common is developed. She asks important questions about land use, about what commons mean to us today, and about who – or what – gets to own and enjoy green spaces. Above all she takes us on a journey of discovery, into the miniature rainforest of this little, almost-forgotten place, where you’ll find the uncommon is a common sight.

Parthian Books

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