natural history

Should we all stop eating pork?

26 August 2017 9:00 am

‘Rightly is they called pigs,’ says a farmworker in Aldous Huxley’s Crome Yellow as he watches porkers grunt and squelch.…

Hope, the blue whale, replaces Dippy, the diplodocus, in the Natural History Museum’s Hintze Hall

The newly refurbished Natural History Museum is glorious

12 August 2017 9:00 am

Sometimes, it pays to rediscover what’s already under your nose. I’ve been umpteen times to the Natural History Museum but…

Dan Powell

An English hen harrier makes a fabulous heroine

5 August 2017 9:00 am

I often feel slightly sorry for the British nature writer. It’s not an attractive emotion — it sounds patronising —…

Study of horses by Théodore Géricault

Man and horse - the end of a special relationship?

17 June 2017 9:00 am

Sam Leith canters through a fascinating, if eccentric, history of man’s long  partnership with the horse

Portrait of Hans Sloane by Stephen Slaughter (1736)

Hans Sloane collected everything – from acupuncture kits to zebras

27 May 2017 9:00 am

Hans Sloane’s passion for collecting led to the foundation = of the British Museum. But missing – until now – has been the man himself, says Jonathan Keates

‘Snow scene in the Garden of a Daimyo’. Triptych by Hiroshige and Uagawa Kunisada

The terrible beauty of snow

10 December 2016 9:00 am

Here is William Diaper in 1722, translating Oppian’s Halieuticks (a Greek epic poem on the loves of the fishes): As…

Above and below: Quentin Blake’s illustrations for The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots — not the happiest of pairings

The lonely genius of Beatrix Potter

10 December 2016 9:00 am

The story of the extraordinary boom in children’s literature over the last 100 years could be bookended with a ‘Tale…

An otter’s metabolism is so high that you’d have to eat 88 Big Macs a day to match it

Charles Foster: ‘I need to be more of a badger’

20 February 2016 9:00 am

Being a Beast is an impassioned and proselytising work of philosophy based on a spectacular approach to nature writing. That…

Red sky of warning: Elephants and Cape buffaloes cross the Luangwa River

The Luangwa is far from being a happy valley

30 January 2016 9:00 am

Simon Barnes opens with a presumably true idea, that we are all in search of our own versions of paradise…

A piece of primeval England reborn in Sussex

30 May 2015 9:00 am

A piece of ancient England is being reborn around a castle in Sussex

Bigger mouths and longer legs—all the better to bite you with, and run away

Bigger, better bedbugs bite back with a vengeance

25 April 2015 9:00 am

‘Good night, sleep tight, don’t let the bedbugs bite,’ my mother used to say when she tucked me in at…

Henry Walter Bates supervises the capture of an alligator in the Amazon

All in the name of science: three young naturalists go on an Amazonian killing-spree

21 March 2015 9:00 am

John Hemming is our greatest living scholar-explorer. He is best known for his extraordinary first book The Conquest of the…

To be astonished by nature, look no further than Claxton

11 October 2014 9:00 am

Mark Cocker is the naturalist writer of the moment, with birds his special subject. His previous book, Birds and People,…

Left: ‘Blackbere’ from Helmingham Herbal and Bestiary, c. 1500. Right: Common Hoopoe, c. 1789, by William Lewis

The British countryside in prints and paper-cuts

26 July 2014 9:00 am

The Yale Center for British Art holds the largest collection of British art outside the UK. An impressive collection it…

Meadow pipit

Read this book and you’ll see why our meadows are so precious

7 June 2014 9:00 am

This book is a portrait of one man’s meadow. Our now almost vanished meadowland, with its tapestry of wildflowers, abundant…

How we lost the seasons

4 January 2014 9:00 am

... for tomorrow traditional seasonal rituals may just be ghostly memories of a vanished world, says Melanie McDonagh

A badger eats, squats, thieves. But should we cull them?

19 October 2013 9:00 am

Lord Arran was responsible for the bill to legalise homosexuality and a bill to protect badgers from gassing and terrier-baiting.…

England’s 100 best Views, by Simon Jenkins - review

5 October 2013 9:00 am

Sam Leith is transported by the finest scenery in England

Birds & People, by Mark Cocker - review

3 August 2013 9:00 am

‘A world without birds would lay waste the human heart,’ writes Mark Cocker. Following his Birds Britannica and prize-winning Crow…