‘Never have I felt so connected to the natural world than when trailing . . . The direction of the wind is noted almost subconsciously, the alarm calls of birds are obvious and the track and sign of all the other animals, even insects, crossing your trail reveal themselves. It’s a strangely peaceful state where every sense seems to be stretched to the limit in a state of extreme concentration, and yet one feels completely relaxed and at peace. The whole of nature is revealed within an animal trail.’
“If you want a reference book for when you are out in the field and see tracks/signs you can’t identify, or are simply fascinated by the subject matter, then look no further.”
“By FAR the best tracking book in my library.”
THE book for British trackers.”
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Tracking books can be strange. So many of them contain whole chapters on the authors experience with tracking, waxing lyrical with pseudo spiritual monologues, very generalised nature observation advice, or filling whole chapters with wildlife photographs. While each of these perhaps have their place (perhaps), in a book about tracking I’m keen to get information which will help me ‘in the dirt’ so to speak.
If that is the criteria, this book is far and away the most useful book in my library. It is, essentially, a comprehensive tracking course in book form. The book is set up so difficult to differentiate animals are clearly discussed together, and the observations in the book are incredibly clearly from actual observation in the field. The content of it genuinely reads like distilled information from field notebooks, it doesn’t deviate its attention from the actual tracks. I found it refreshing that Rhyder doesn’t prioritise track size, and instead focuses on the morphological characteristics which allow you to narrow down a track to a handful of potential suspects very quickly.
I could go on, but basically if you’re seriously interested in being a better animal tracker in the UK, Ireland, or Europe more generally, just get this book. I’m a professional ecologist and conservation biologist, this is the book I want in my pack.
Proof that some things are worth waiting for! This is a brilliant piece of work and my new go to tracking book. Usefully laid out and perfectly accompanied by John’s previously published Field Guide. The section on gaits has to be the best explained I’ve come across and the guidance on common mistakes made when identifying similar tracks of different species proves the attention to detail by the author in his teaching. One to read over and over again. Highly recommend.
The wealth of knowledge in this book is staggering. Simple as that. I’m looking forward to absorbing it all; been using it to track in the snow this month.
John is a legend. A brilliant woodsman and bushcrafter, with a nice writing style too.
Well written and superbly illustrated book, I love it.
Only downside is it’s size for me, won’t fit in my favourite outdoor jacket, but there is a smaller supplement sold separately I believe.
The author of this book clearly knows the field. If you teach outdoor learning in the U.K in any capacity this will be a godsend. Comprehensive, loads of pictures, easy reading….love it…
As a certified tracker I have an array of books on the subject and related areas. Few however impart such usefully detailed information on interpreting the depth and variety of the track and sign of our uk fauna.
Whether a novice dipping your toe in (see what i did there)? or a seasoned naturalist, this book offers easy to read, informed and concise guidance on the depth and variety of track and sign these animals leave behind. This is achieved using a systematic approach which helps guide the reader by breaking the elements down into categories. Which then allows one to pull the different identifiers together to paint a more detailed picture of what you are seeing in front of you.
Included is the information on how to measure ones progress in this field through an evaluation process widely recognised as an industry standard across the world.
(At the beginning of your journey it is easy to convince yourself you are seeing something which in fact is not what you think it is)!
This has become my go to reference material in conjunction with the authors ‘Field Guide”.