Locally loved (7)

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    Johnny Kingdom’s West Country Tales by: Johnny Kingdom £8.99

    There are few people better acquainted with the West Country than Johnny Kingdom. His knowledge of local wildlife is second to none, but he’s also a fount of knowledge when it comes to all the old stories that get passed down from generation to generation. West Country Tales is a charming collection of these local myths and legends, interwoven with many more anecdotes from Johnny himself and his forbears and friends.

    The atmospheric West Country landscape lends itself perfectly to dramatic tales of eerie hauntings and ghostly happenings, daring smugglers and dashing highwaymen, and many have heard of – or might even have seen – the modern-day legend that is the Beast of Exmoor. But what about the Flying Fish of Exmoor, a slippery catch of Johnny’s that sailed up and over a bridge into the back seat of a passing open-top car, never to be seen again? Gently humorous and wonderfully evocative, it’s only a matter of time before some of Johnny’s own tales weave their way into West Country lore.

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    My Devonshire Year by: Margaret I Pogson £20.00

    If you love the countryside and coast around Axminster and Seaton you will love this one.

    An evocative account of Margaret Pogson’s timeless observations of the natural history along the coastline and countryside of Devon’s Jurassic Coast. Join Margaret on her gentle journey through the year and enjoy her enchanting portrait of the landscape she saw around her. It is a calm and peaceful world that evokes the natural beauty of Devon.

    Her personal journal of the shifting seasons is a beautiful record of another time, another place…

    It was originally written and painted to celebrate the beauty of Devonshire.

    When the author feared she would have to move away and lose her beloved West Country home, she decided to write this journal as a permanent record of her love of Devon.

    She captured a whole year in words and pictures and it eventually took her six years to complete the detailed work.

    The Journal remained hidden for 30 years.

    As the delicate watercolours had been concealed for decades they were as fresh today as the day they were painted.

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    Once Upon a Time in the West… Country by: Tony Hawks £10.99

    Waking in the middle of the night whilst on holiday, Tony Hawks declares an epiphany to his barely conscious partner Fran. Fed up of living in a city where the only contact with his neighbours in three years was a dispute over a boundary fence, his mind has been made up and it’s time for a change… of postcode. At the age of 53, Tony is finally ready to renounce his London lifestyle and head for the countryside, and to his enormous surprise, Fran agrees.

    Once Upon a Time in the West… Country tells the story of how a series of events lead Tony and Fran to uproot their city lives for a rural alternative in deepest Devon. Full of Tony’s trademark mixture of humour, hope, adventure and absurdity, this book will chart their journey as they adapt from the relative ease of city life to the vagaries of a village community. But between organic gardening courses, attending village meetings and the impending birth of his first child, Tony still has time for one last adventure, cycling coast to coast with a mini pig called Titch.

    Full of eclectic characters – including the best neighbour in the world – Once Upon a Time in the West… Country is the heartwarming and hilarious tale of Tony Hawks’ new life in the country.

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    Shepherds’ Huts and Living Vans by: David Morris £16.99

    In the 1800s, a shepherd’s hut or living van would have been an unremarkable sight in many regions of rural Britain. By the 1970s most lay abandoned as farming methods and industry left them behind. Today the humble shepherd’s hut is making a comeback and these quirky collectors’ items are fast developing a cult status of their own. Original huts and living vans command high sums and replica huts are being built in high numbers to satisfy demand. However, many who see one, have one or want one know little of their origin or the differences between them. This beautifully illustrated book explores the differences and takes a look behind the door at what living and operating in these small mobile spaces was really like.

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    The Finest Gardens of the South West by: Tony Russell £15.99

    This is the third in a series of books celebrating the finest gardens in Britain and follows on from the best-selling ‘The Cotswold’s Finest Gardens’ and ‘The Finest Gardens in Wales’. The Finest Gardens of the South West is an inspirational celebration of the very best gardens in the West Country of England, covering an area from Cornwall to the Wiltshire and Hampshire borders.

    Using informative, evocative text and stunning imagery, garden writer and broadcaster Tony Russell captures the very essence of the fifty finest gardens within this region and explores their history, design, plants and personalities. The diversity of gardens to be found in the South West and within this book is truly astonishing. Within these pages you will find gardens full of subtropical plants, such as Tresco on the Isles of Scilly and Overbeck’s in Devon, modern-day creations at The Eden Project and University of Bristol Botanic Garden, historical restorations at The Lost Gardens of Heligan and Hestercombe in Somerset and botanically important gardens such as the Royal Horticultural Society’s garden at Rosemoor and Trewithen in Cornwall.

    All the gardens featured within this book allow public access at some time during each year. The Finest Gardens of the South West is quite simply one of the finest books on the subject and essential reading for anyone interested in visiting and understanding gardens. Just like its predecessors, it will undoubtedly become a best-selling classic, a book that works equally as well on the coffee table or as a faithful companion in the car.

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    Wild Southwest: The Landscapes and Wildlife of Southwest England (Paperback) by: Nigel Hicks £14.99
    A book about the wildlife and landscapes of southwest England, covering the counties of Devon, Cornwall, Somerset and Dorset, richly illustrated with high quality photography.
    Showcasing the stunning natural landscapes and wildlife (both plant and animal) of southwest England, this is Nigel Hicks’ 16th book.

    With an entertaining, yet informative text, Wild Southwest is richly illustrated with over 300 of Nigel’s photographs, covering mostly the terrestrial and coastal environments. Images of the southwest’s submarine environment are provided by Paul Naylor and Colin Munro, both well known marine biologists and photographers.

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    Wild Swimming Walks: Dartmoor & South Devon by: Sophie Pierce & Matt Newbury £14.99

    Wild swimming walks Leads you on 28 adventures into the beautiful scenery and wild swimming paradise of Dartmoor and South Devon. Discover wooded river pools and tumbling waterfalls, secret coves and amazing sea caves, safe in the company of Devon’s two most intrepid and fun-loving explorers.

    All the walking routes include places to swim and ideas for pubs and refreshments along the route. Join the adventure with this inspirational guide to one of England’s most popular walking and wild swimming regions – Dartmoor and the South Devon coast. This is an iconic landscape of haunted lakes, ancient woodland, hidden rivers and one of the most beautiful coastlines in Britain. Complete with photos and practical guidance, and rich with local history and legend, this book will appeal to wild swimmers, family explorers, nature lovers and walkers alike. Including detailed directions, maps and downloadable route information to print out or take with you on your phone or tablet.

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