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Rare British Breeds (Hardback)

Endangered Species in the UK

Photographic Books Colour Books Wildlife Nature White Owl

By Sophie McCallum
Imprint: White Owl
Pages: 256
Illustrations: 100
ISBN: 9781526763631
Published: 16th March 2020

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Rare British Breeds is a book inspired by the Rare Breed Survival Trust Watchlist, which is published annually, listing the species of sheep, cattle, horses, pigs, goats and poultry (chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese) that are endangered in the United Kingdom.

This information is gathered from breed societies and lists the number of breeding females alive, along with their conservation status. Each species, regardless of their origin, is unique to the UK, either through cross breeding or by evolution.

There are good reasons for wanting to keep these breeds alive; not just the genetic makeup of these creatures which means many are able to survive and thrive in very formidable conditions - a prerequisite for enduring possible future environmental disasters. Once gone, these genes will never be able to be replaced. They have taken thousands of years to develop.

The book looks at the history of every breed, with their evolutionary roots, development over time, exportation, cross breeding and changing relationship to mankind as farming techniques react to societal shifts. Their particular physical characteristics such as meat, wool, milk, eggs or ability to pull great weights are discussed as well as their conservation status and the national and international efforts being made to ensure their survival.

Subject of deep interest.

Read the full Spanish review here

Miniaturas JM

★★★★★ A highly entertaining read!
Very informative book about rare breeds, easy to read with lots of interesting anecdotes and great pictures.

Amazon Customer, May 2020

I have always been fascinated by rare breeds and the people that go out of their way to keep them alive. Sophie's book examimnes every such British breed in detail, and looks at their evolution, their specific individual traits and personalities in a book that is worth treasuring itself. Brilliant.

Books Monthly

★★★★★
An up to date book of rare British livestock breeds. Fantastic colour photography for each breed and a description of their history. A lovely book to have on your book shelf.

Amazon Customer, April 2020

★★★★

An interesting book covering the breeds on the RBST watchlist... The book promotes British Rare/Native breeds their merits and their history!

Amazon Customer, March 2020
 Sophie McCallum

About Sophie McCallum

Sophie has spent 20 years volunteering on Conservation Projects throughout the UK and Africa, including working with the Green Team at the Eden Project in Cornwall. Her interests took her in different directions, and she has worked extensively in horticulture, whilst completing a degree in Environmental Studies and Creative Writing at the Open University.  


The inspiration for this book was the field behind the houses where Sophie lives. Every summer there is an abundance of hollyhocks and wild flowers, and the sky is an azure and fluffy pink haze. She looks out onto it whilst she writes, complete with red kites circling in the air above her window. Of course, there are development issues, so she took to this theme with the intention of raising awareness of the beauty and function of the eco-system which we all take for granted.

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