Bird ¦ Garden ¦ Minibeast ¦ Pond
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Our garden contains a fine specimen of rose bay willow-herb - just one - a plant that most people would eradicate as a weed but at least as handsome as the nearby buddleia, and as valuable to wildlife. Ordinary things have character, interest, use and, often, beauty in equal measure with exotic ones and this set of four books about enriching a school's surroundings recognises this.
Garden is particularly encouraging in its variety of ideas for developing a plot, and the message that it's easier to go along with the natural capabilities of the surroundings rather than try radically to change them is gently reinforced.
Similarly, Bird and Minibeast concentrate on achievable strategies to improve the lot of surrounding populations. Pond is more familiar territory, giving pond-creation instructions of inspiring simplicity.
Of course, the separation of these four elements into different volumes is artificial and it would have been easy for an unscrupulous author and/or an unobservant editor to get away with a lot of repetition. All the more commendable, then, is the way in which these volumes dovetail rather than overlap.