HOW TO VALUE A SKYLARK: The Countryside in a Time of Change.


Brian Kerr, author of HOW TO VALUE A SKYLARK: The Countryside in a Time of Change, is a Visiting Fellow at Cranfield University and a retired soil surveyor often found helping out in their soils archive. His recently published book brings together much of the ongoing debate on the future of countryside and landscapes throughout Britain and is well illustrated using examples, largely from Bedfordshire.

At the beginning of 2020 there was a moment when we accepted the world needed to change; and then it did. During prolonged periods of lockdown, everyone in Britain was obliged to stay close to home. The importance of the outdoors and access to the countryside became more important than ever, and to a wider range of people. As we return to a ‘new normal’, the future of this vital green escape deserves scrutiny. The Government has promised a radical way forward in maintaining and enhancing our rural landscape, embarking on a new environmental ‘nature friendly’ approach. All future changes, though, are set against the backdrop of alarm over a climate emergency, and the continuing loss of wildlife.

This book sets out to provide a guide to these topics in a non-technical way. Will the pandemic accelerate these radical changes or push them into the background? What do we expect from the British countryside? Is time running out?

Brian’s book is available in selected bookstores and online at