Common Ground: One of Britain’s Favourite Nature Books as featured on BBC’s Winterwatch

Rob Cowen

Common Ground: One of Britain's Favourite Nature Books as featured on BBC's Winterwatch
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Common Ground: One of Britain’s Favourite Nature Books as featured on BBC’s Winterwatch

Rob Cowen

Shortlisted for the 2015 Portico Prize for Non-Fiction
Longlisted for the Wainwright Prize 2016.


After moving from London to a new home in Yorkshire, and about to become a father for the first time, Rob Cowen finds himself in unfamiliar territory. Disoriented, hemmed in by winter and yearning for open space, he ventures out to a nearby edge-land: a pylon-slung tangle of wood, hedge, field, meadow and river that lies unclaimed and overlooked on the outskirts of town.

Digging deeper into this lost landscape, he begins to uncover its many layers and lives - beast, bird, insect, plant and people - in kaleidoscopic detail. As the seasons change and the birth of his child draws closer, his transformative journey into the blurry space where human and nature meet becomes increasingly profound. In bringing this edge-land to life, Cowen offers both a both a unique portrait of people and place through time and an unforgettable exploration of the common ground we share with the natural world, the past and each other.

‘Sensitive, thoughtful and poetic … leading us into a whole new way of looking at the world’ Michael Palin

‘Absolutely mesmerizing, utterly beautiful and engrossing’ Joanne Harris

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