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This Uncommon Common by Rae Howells PRE-ORDER

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Published 2nd May 2024. Available for pre-order.

Everybody had written it off as waste ground. But when a planning application is made to build houses on this wild and green patch ofGower common, something magical emerges. From the star-nose of the polecat and the bold zigzags of adders to the delicate yellowblooms 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 in a Wales with its eyes on Future Generations, 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. Set on West Cross Common, Gower with universal environmental themes, this collection will appeal to: Eco-conscious nature lovers, those who are interested in activism, wilding, nature writing, planning, climate change, common land and land ownership, recording nature for future generations.

Parthian Books

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