The traditional hay meadows of Britain abound with visual delights. Hundreds of plant species, mesmeric mixtures of colour, are interspersed with tumbling butterflies, stooping dragonflies and the flight of birds. In Clattinger Farm, probably the finest remaining example in Britain, orchids create vast carpets whilst nightingales sing night time melodies from heavy blackthorn hedgerows. The Meadow takes you on a journey through the forms, colours and patterns of this precious place. The result of recording the changing seasons for over three years, it reveals an astonishing diversity of species. With an emphasis on Barney Wilczak's outstanding photographs, the book includes short and informative texts on orchids, fritillaries, birds, insects, seeds and maintenance, and a foreword by chief executive of the Wildlife Trusts Stephanie Hilborne. The grasslands of the world rank as one of our most important habitats, yet are surprisingly uncelebrated. This is especially true in Europe, despite the long role they have played in our history and image of rural life. These habitats have endured severe losses in recent years, largely a result of changing farming practices; this splendid book champions the importance of saving whole habitats and rethinking our relationship to biodiversity.