How do we work with nature rather than against it, both harvesting and conserving? The environmentalist Jeremy Purseglove shares a lifetime of experience.
From cocoa farming in Ghana to the orchards of Kent and the desert badlands of Pakistan, taking a practical approach to sustaining the landscape can mean the difference between prosperity and ruin. Working with Nature is the story of a lifetime of work, often in extreme environments, to harvest nature and protect it - in effect, gardening on a global scale. It is also a memoir of encounters with larger-than-life characters such as William Bunting, the gun-toting saviour of Yorkshire's peatlands and the aristocratic gardener Vita Sackville-West, examining their idiosyncratic approaches to conservation.
Jeremy Purseglove explains clearly and convincingly why it's not a good idea to extract as many resources as possible, whether it's the demand for palm oil currently denuding the forests of Borneo, cottonfield irrigation draining the Aral Sea, or monocrops spreading across Britain. The pioneer of engineering projects to preserve nature and landscape, first in Britain and then around the world, he offers fresh insights and solutions at each step.
Jeremy Purseglove was born in Africa and grew up in Singapore, Trinidad and Kent. Working as an environmentalist in the water industry, he helped pioneer a new approach to reducing floods which also preserved the beauty of rivers. This culminated in a TV series and influential book, Taming the Flood, first published in 1986 and revised in 2017. In 1989 he joined an engineering consultancy, where he worked around the world with engineers to promote practical development while enhancing wetlands, forests and flower-rich meadows.
Conservation of the environment