The Cairngorms. Their Natural History and Scenery. By Desmond Nethersole-Thompson and Adam Watson. Collins, London, 1974. 286 pages; 7 colour and 36 black-and-white photographs; 17 maps and text-figures. £3.50.
Everything about the Cairngorms is massive--the greatest extent of ground over 900 metres in Britain, the biggest tourist developments in the Highlands and a huge land-management problem for the future. Hundreds of thousands of people come every year to enjoy them and most must be attracted by their wildlife even if they have come for the scenery, the skiing, fishing or shooting, or the luxury hotels with their bowling alleys and skating rinks. Here one comes face to face with the dilemma of people in danger of destroying what they enjoy. I believe that this dilemma can be resolved only if as many people as possible come to understand something about the natural environment and thus to care about its future. This book can play an important part in increasing this understanding and awareness. The authors' first words are 'We love the Cairngorms', and their enthusiasm and great personal knowledge of the area make the book exhilarating and enjoyable to read; there can be few books of this kind that contain so much original observation by the authors, some of which is published here for the first time. This applies particularly to four long chapters on the birds of the main Cairngorm habitats which readers of British Birds will find especially interesting for the descriptions of the breeding biology