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About the book
  • Published: 2 October 2014
  • ISBN: 9781448191994
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 256


Field Notes from a Small Planet

After the massive, world-spanning, unanimously acclaimed Birds and People Mark Cocker looks in fascinating detail at his home parish in Norfolk and its wildlife

'After Mark Cocker’s glorious book, you will never look at a blackberry bush the same way again.'
Philip Hoare, New Statesman

In 2001 Mark Cocker moved to Claxton, a small village in Norfolk. In a series of daily writings spanning the course of a year he explores his relationship to the landscape he lives in, to nature and to all the living things around him - the birds, plants, trees, mammals, hoverflies, moths, butterflies, bush crickets, grasshoppers, ants and bumblebees. Passionate, astonishing and inspiring, this book is a celebration of the wonder that lies in our everyday experience.

Shortlisted for the Royal Society of Biology Book Award, the Jarrold East Anglian Book Awards, the New Angle Prize and theThwaites Wainwright Prize

  • Pub date: 2 October 2014
  • ISBN: 9781448191994
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 256

About the Author

Mark Cocker

Mark Cocker is an author, naturalist and environmental activist whose eleven books include works of biography, history, literary criticism and memoir. His book Crow Country was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize in 2008 and won the New Angle Prize for Literature in 2009. With the photographer David Tipling he published Birds and People in 2013, a massive survey described by the Times Literary Supplement as ‘a major literary event as well as an ornithological one’. His most recent book, Our Place: Can We Save Britain's Wildlife Before It Is Too Late was described by the Sunday Times as 'impassioned, expert and always beautifully written... a sobering and magnificent work'.

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Praise for Claxton

“After Mark Cocker’s glorious book, you will never look at a blackberry bush the same way again.”

Philip Hoare, New Statesman

“A nature journal full of beautiful, delicate observation”


“A beautifully-written account of one man’s passion for the natural world”

Daily Mail

“If your eye has ever been caught by a moth, owl, jay or ash tree, Claxton has something new to tell about it, about Britain, and about life – which is an infinite compilation of exquisite detail.”

Horatio Clare, 5 stars, Daily Telegraph

“To be astonished by nature, look no further than Claxton.”


“Cocker’s profound knowledge, uncanny ability to observe and heartliftingly exact prose make Claxton one of those books that transforms the way you see your own home parish.”

Melissa Harrison, The Times

“The book is spectacular… Brilliant natural-history writing.”

Jonathan Wright, Herald

“At once charming and unsentimental, these short pieces educate and delight.”

Stephanie Cross, 5 stars, Lady

“Cocker is a sharp-eyed, knowledgeable and accessible writer… Makes one look again at the world outdoors with renewed awe and wonder.”

Ben East, Metro

“[Cocker] is enraptured, passionate and down-to-earth, and never stops wanting to learn and delve deeper into his ordinary, extraordinary English countryside.”

Patrick Barkham, BBC Wildlife

“Cocker is a sharp-eyed, knowledgeable and accessible writer. The way in which he celebrates the rhythms of a year makes one look again at the world outdoors with renewed awe and wonder.”

Ben East, Metro

“[Cocker] observes with patience, acuity and in prose so exquisite it borders on poetry… You feel as though you’re by the side of the most expert guide you could hope for, being taught to marvel at wonders of nature.”

James Delingpole, 5 stars, Mail on Sunday

“Cocker is a quietly eloquent guide.”


“He writes both robustly and exquisitely, seeing into things through the prism of language with great craft and a sense of seamless ease.”

Country Life

“A heartfelt plea to treasure and protect the diversity and richness of our indigenous wildlife.”

David Vass, Diss Express

“It’s a celebration of wonder that lies in our everyday experiences, with magical and concise, but inspiring writing!”

UK Press Syndication

“[Cocker’s] writing is characterised by close observation and a tangible sense of the progression through the seasons.”

Mark Whitley, Countryman

“His year-long cycle of daily writings from a single valley in Norfolk proves the infinite variety to be found in a confined space.”

Iona McLaren, Telegraph

“Cocker has produced a nature journal full of beautiful, delicate observation, intense drama and new understanding… Claxton is a book full of tastes, sounds and smells as well as sights.”

Richard Kerridge, Guardian

“An immensely satisfying and calming read, this can be savoured and enjoyed.”

Good Book Guide

“A cycle of jewelled, profoundly knowledgeable essays by one of our three finest contemporary nature writers.”

Jim Perrin, Great Outdoors

“Cocker poses straight questions about our relationship with the natural world and whose job it is to protect is. This skilfully written, lyrically observer book will make you feel it’s a worthwhile job.”

Jennifer Cox, Compass Magazine

“If you want an antidote to the season, as one year turns coldly into the next, this book is perfect.”

James McConnachie, Sunday Times

“I defy anyone not to be moved by some of his more remarkable encounters with an amazing cast of creatures and his profound love for his landscape.”

John Owen, Country and Townhouse

“A lyrical writer, Cocker lucidly conveys his knowledge and love of nature’s details that most of us fail to observe.”

Angela Huth, Week

“Reading this book is a great enjoyment in itself, but also helps elucidate why the world outside is so very important to our inner selves.”

Rob Hume, Birdwatch

“A thought provoking read.”

Louise Elliott, Country Living Magazine

“Cocker writes with such infectious enthusiasm that blackberry picking becomes a thrilling pursuit”

Julia Richardson, Daily Mail

“Sparklingly tight prose … a delight to read”

Paul Cheney, Nudge

“Like the best nature books, Cocker’s will infect readers with enthusiasm for going out and noticing things”

Rebecca Foster, Nudge

“It’s as satisfyingly poetic as it is poetically satisfying.”


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