An Environmental History of Wildlife in England 1650-1950

Rating: Tom Williamson. 2013. An Environmental History of Wildlife in England 1650-1950. Bloomsbury. ISBN978 1 4411 2486 9. It is probably fair to say that I was brought up to consider the English countryside as natural; as something that had always been there. Wildlife were the plants and animals that lived outside of towns and farms. All very simple really. And almost certainly completely wrong! I didn’t get it immediately. It took me some years to finally get to teach […]

Coastal Wetlands of the World

Rating: David B Scott, Jennifer Frail-Gauthier and Petra J Mudies. 2014. Coastal Wetlands of the World: Geology, Ecology, Distribution and Applications. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978 1 107 62825 0 Coastal wetlands (read – salt marshes and mangroves) have been neglected, or worse, for decades. They are seen as something stopping a clear view of the sea or making it difficult to dredge a harbour or any number of other excuses rather than see them for the value they possess. […]

How are we doing Ecology?

A couple of things have conspired to turn me away from a review and towards the reflection of a blog post! The first was the receipt of a potential review text titled “How to do Ecology” (Karban and Huntzinger, 2006); the rest comes from our BES Bulletin and following a few leads from the website.  For some reason, the text date didn’t become clear until I started because I normally only look at the most recent publications; the upside was […]

Climate: A Very Short Introduction

Rating: Mark Maslin. 2013. Climate – A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978 0 19 964113 0. This is one of a very large series of brief guides to specific topics covering most areas of learning. As such, they have considerable potential to engage students who might need a shorter overview of a topic than the conventional textbook.  Here, Maslin (who has also written a short introduction to global warming) outlines the key aspects of climate needed to […]

Valuing Assessment in Science Education

Rating: Deborah Corrigan, Richard Gunstone and Alister Jones. 2013. Valuing assessment in Science Education: pedagogy, curriculum, policy. Springer. ISBN 978 94 007 6667 9 “change in education is easy to propose, hard to implement and extraordinarily difficult to sustain: (p101).   One of the more pressing issues in modern education is the development of some form of assessment. The whole term has become laden with alternative meanings of which, the initial and simplest, is to explore the student’s understanding of […]


IES, The EU “Institute for Environment and Sustainability” is one of the major parts of the EU system.  It’s part of a wider system called the Joint Research Centre whose objective is to provide quality research to the EU. There are extensive, if specialised, resources available.


EdCommunity – Geographic Information Systems are a major potential source of ecological and environmental spatial data. These days it is essential that students know how they work and what can be done with them (as well as being a major career option!). One of the world’s biggest companies – ESRI – has a range of resources to help students and teachers learn more about the systems. Use this site as a starting point.