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Nature's Conscience; The Life and Legacy of Derek Ratcliffe

Nature's Conscience; The Life and Legacy of Derek Ratcliffe

Des Thompson

Derek Ratcliffe (1929–2005) was one of Britain's greatest naturalists. Nature's Conscience is written by friends and colleagues and explores the breadth, qualities, and legacy of Derek's work. It is far more than a tribute, however, and we hope many people will be inspired to search out nature for themselves and strive to care for it. Derek was passionate about nature and used his huge knowledge of nature to good effect. He possessed an intense curiosity which drove him to understand and protect nature. His interests ranged from birds, butterflies and dragonflies, and mountain flora and vegetation to the ecology and biogeography of peatlands and of mosses, liverworts, and ferns. He documented birds, plants, and insects in their habitats and maintained long-term population studies on several birds of prey as well as Raven, Golden Plover, Greenshank, and Dotterel. He documented the decline of the Peregrine Falcon and famously established the role of pesticides as its cause. He led the fight that saved the wild and remote Flow Country of northern Scotland from extensive afforestation. 571 pages.

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