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Bowland Beth: The Life of an English Hen Harrier review - a clarion call for wild birds

Film director David Cobham's book about the short life and death of a famous bird of prey highlights major issues in UK conservationAnyone who grew up in the 1970s will recall the alluring power of David Cobham's family film Tarka the Otter, his adaptation of Henry Williamson's famous tale of triumph and tragedy on the river. Bowland Beth has echoes of Tarka in Cobham's eagerness to tell the life story of a famous bird of prey shot in 2012. The subtext is that both hen harriers and sportsmen with guns paying over ?3,000 a day have the same taste for grouse on the moors of the United Kingdom. The sections Cobham writes from Bowland Beth's point of view soar like a harrier carried away by a thermal, the hand of a film-maker quite evident. However, the flatter rehearsals of the conservation arguments underline that this is Cobham's first book, the interviews with key players feeling like they've been lifted from a script. Some gorgeous illustrations from Dan Powell do make this a special package though, a clarion call for deeper thinking about wild birds in the 21st century.o Bowland Beth: The Life of an English Hen Carrier by David Cobham is published by William Collins (16.99). To order a copy for ?14.44 go to bookshop.theguardian.com or call 0330 333 6846. Free UK p&p over ?10, online orders only. Phone orders min p&p of ?1.99 Continue reading...
Zdroj: The Guardian

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