Black Ops and Beaver Bombing by Fiona Mathews and Tim Kendall

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From central Glasgow to rural Wiltshire, a husband-and-wife team track down Britain’s rarest and most enigmatic animals.

Published 2 May 2024

About the Book…

Britain is teeming with wildlife, often in the most unexpected places. There are quarries where rare bats hang out with pot-smoking teens. In Glasgow’s urban parks water voles are thriving – without water. Our coastlines are bustling with grey and harbour seals.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that a quarter of British mammals are at imminent risk of extinction.

Tim Kendall and Fiona Mathews take us on a safari unlike any other. Armed with binoculars, a Thermos and, regrettably, an inexhaustible supply of puns, they travel from Scotland to the Isles of Scilly in search of their elusive subjects.

You’ll find answers to questions you never thought to ask:

  • Do pine marten droppings really smell like Parma Violets?
  • Should we give squirrels access to family planning?
  • And what do wild boar have in common with a certain royal?

Black Ops and Beaver Bombing is a celebration of Britain’s marvellous mammals, and a rallying cry to save them.

About the Author…

Fiona Mathews is professor of environmental biology at the University of Sussex. She is the founding chair of Mammal Conservation Europe and author of the UK government’s official census of British mammals. She advises the UK government and its devolved authorities on a variety of conservation issues.

Tim Kendall is professor of English literature at the University of Exeter. He is the author of works of poetry and literary criticism, and he edited Britain’s Mammals 2018. He lives in the wilds of East Devon with Fiona, and they share their house with two teenage daughters, two rabbits, a Labrador and a rehabilitating common pipistrelle bat.




Fiona Mathews, Tim Kendall



Page Count



2 May 2024


Oneworld Publications

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