© The Financial Times Ltd 2016
FT and 'Financial Times' are trademarks of The Financial Times Ltd.
The Financial Times and its journalism are subject to a self-regulation regime under the FT Editorial Code of Practice.
January 4, 2013 7:35 pm
Birds in a Cage: The Unlikely Beginnings of British Wildlife Conservation, by Derek Niemann, Short Books, RRP£20, 302 pages
In October 1941, four British prisoners of war were sent to the Oflag VI-B camp in Warburg, Germany. There, between assisting the regular escape attempts, they began birdwatching. “Through natural history, and especially birds,” writes Derek Niemann in Birds in a Cage, “they regained self-respect and a passion for living.”
The four – John Buxton, Peter Conder, John Barrett and George Waterston – would go on to become some of the most important figures in British wildlife conservation as a result of the experience. Buxton wrote the acclaimed natural history book The Redstart; Conder became director of the RSPB; Barrett was “arguably the inventor of the modern guided walk and author of the century’s most popular seashore guide”; and Waterston established the Fair Isle bird observatory.
Through diary entries and letters, Niemann brings to life the remarkable and moving story of the men’s passion for the natural world.
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2016. You may share using our article tools.
Please don't cut articles from FT.com and redistribute by email or post to the web.