The Orchid Outlaw: On a Mission to Save Britain’s Rarest Flowers


The Orchid Outlaw: On a Mission to Save Britain’s Rarest Flowers Author: Format: Hardback First Published: Published By: John Murray Press
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Pages: 320 Language: English ISBN: 9781399802260 Categories: , , , ,


Obsessed by orchids since childhood, Ben spent years travelling to far-flung jungles to see them in the wild. Then a chance encounter set him off on a journey of discovery into the wonderful, but often forgotten, world of Britain’s fifty-one native species. These include the Bee which looks (and smells) so much like one that even bees are fooled, the Ghost which exists without sunlight, and Autumn Lady’s Tresses which gave Darwin the proof he needed for his theory of evolution.

But our orchids are in desperate trouble. Many species are facing extinction. Decimated by changes in land use and climate, inadequately protected by environmental and planning laws, their habitats are disappearing fast. Determined to act before it was too late, Ben broke into building sites in the dead of night to rescue threatened plants, and turned his kitchen into a laboratory, his fridge into storage for hundreds of baby orchids, and his back yard into a plantation. But doing all that put him on the wrong side of the law. . .

At once a memoir, a natural history, and an inspiring call to action, reintroducing us to Britain’s most endangered flowers, The Orchid Outlaw shows us how we can all save the world, one plant at a time.

Weight0.95 kg




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A daring, delightful and galvanising call to save the world, one plant at a time * The Bookseller, Editor’s Choice * It's noble work in a time of great change. The Orchid Outlaw urges us to look closer and tread more carefully -- Alice Vincent * New Statesman * If this doesn't turn into one of the most talked about nature books of the year, I'll eat my hat. Brilliantly written, urgent and brave -- Lee Schofield, author of WILD FELL A vivid love letter to Britain's wild orchids . . . Ben Jacob breaks all the rules with enormous success -- FRANCIS PRYOR, Time Team and author of THE MAKING OF THE BRITISH LANDSCAPE The Orchid Outlaw . . . offers captivating descriptions of pre-dawn forays on to private land where housing developments will soon obliterate colonies of precious orchids * Financial Times, Best new books on climate and the environment * The book is written with a skip and drama, and will leave you furious that these strange and delicate plants have been so neglected * Mail on Sunday * A brave, timely and inspiring example of how to exercise our moral obligation to care for the non-human beings we share the world with. The Orchid Outlaw is an empowering tonic to the environmental despair evoked by the lack of leadership from our lawmakers -- Leif Bersweden, author of Where the Wild Flowers Grow