As Brits we pride ourselves as stoic defenders of a green and pleasant land, boasting a record of resistance against aggressors dating back to 1066, be it our weathering of successive Spanish Armadas, the gutsy heroism of Battle of Britain pilots or the defiance of the Blitz spirit.
Yet, even a cursory examination of the natural world reveals that while interlopers of the human variety may have been kept at bay our islands have throughout history been invaded, conquered and settled by an endless succession of animals, plants, fungi and other alien lifeforms that apparently belong elsewhere. Indeed it’s often hard to work out what actually is native, and what is foreign.
In Invasive Aliens, Dan Eatherley explores the way that rabbits and rhododendrons, mink and muntjacs, and countless other so-called invasive species hold up a mirror to the history of Britain. From early settlement of our islands, through the Roman and mediaeval period, to the age of exploration and globalisation, today’s complement of alien species tells a story about our past, present and future.
Publisher: HarperCollins (Due Spring 2019)