Sunday, 21 September 2008 15:52

Endangered Species: The Bart & The Bounder's Countryside Year


“This lovely book chronicles the rustic ramblings of two extraordinary characters through a Britain that has all but disappeared, where there is still a real quality of life and man is altogether kinder to his fellow man”.
Chris Tarrant

“Invigorating . . . a most refreshing read.”
Ronnie Corbett

Endangered Species: The Bart & The Bounder's Countryside Year"They may look like poachers and talk like rogues, but ‘the Bart’ and ‘the Bounder’ are impeccably classy chroniclers of Britain ’s rural traditions… Like a pair of disreputable Victorian villains… they have confessed their sins in [this] wonderful book… What makes the tales in their book such a treat is that the pair not only ransacked their long memories and old game books for anecdotes but actually went out on the road together… travelling Britain, ferreting out old acquaintances - gamekeepers, gypsies, coal miners - and quizzing them about the secrets of the countryside."

"Thanks to this diligent, pub-based research… it is not just terrific sporting history they have unearthed but social and natural history, too… In their research, they did stumble on a significant hidden truth. Rural writers from Harvey, through Chesterton and Betjeman have taught us to accept with mournful certainty that we are seeing the final passing of a rural race along with its way of life... [The Bart and Bounder's belief is rather that] "The English countryside is so magical that it makes new countrymen every generation, and the new countrymen are in every way as much a part of the country as the old ones were 100 years ago. You don't have to be born there to be one of them, you only have to find a way of enjoying it when you live there."…

"Country people are not really an endangered species at all and they will never die out, at least until England's very last green acre goes under concrete. It is even possible, then, that the next generation will throw up a pair of exuberant aberrations like the Bart and the Bounder. Lord help us."
Sandy Mitchell, Daily Telegraph

"You many already have encountered The Bart and The Bounder on BBC2 last year. The programme featured the two cousins, lifelong friends and conspirators, tickling trout, telling tall toff tales and taking in a audience of some three million on the way. Their convivial style caught the imagination of their soon-to-be editor and publisher and the suitably long and jolly lunch that ensued has resulted in this fascinating book."

"The ‘ endangered species’ of the title are the rural people and ways of life of the British Isles but rather than a reverential Sir David Attenborough-like approach, think more of the hearty Clarissa Dickson-Wright and her adventures with both the late Jennifer Paterson and with countryman Johnny Scott. The reader joins the Bart and Bounder, whose love of their topic is matched only by their passions for whisky and women (the former indulged, the latter wistfully recalled) as they catch rats, poach salmon, shoot game, hunt boar, carouse in pubs, try their hand at netting in coracles and attempt to paint a true picture of our countryside, from the river Towy in Wales, to the Inner Hebrides, Yorkshire, Ireland, Hampshire, Sussex, Norfolk, the Midlands and places in-between…"

"To this end, their year is spent travelling month by month… to these intriguing areas of our land, meeting old friends and making new ones – poachers, gamekeepers, dukes and estate owners – winning over even the most wary… The Bart and the Bounder’s sincerity, integrity and love for the countryside and its laws are always evident. And informative… This book is huge fun, written with vivacity and peopled by characters whom politicians and political correctness would rather airbrush out of modern life. I’d recommend this as an ideal gift for the cantankerous, the inquisitive and the open-minded – teetotallers and vegetarians excepted."
Penny Meyrick, Daily Express

"To read the hilarious tales of the Bart (Sir Richard Heygate) and the Bounder (Mike Daunt) is to meet them. That they are equally at home on barstools or with barmaids – busty or blonde – is a double joy. They may have been weaned on the works of ‘BB’ (Denys Watkins-Pitchford), but they have brought modern countryside writing to a new, higher and more relevant level. I do not simply recommend this book to every sporting household, but that readers try their hand at some of its eccentric sporting forays…

"It is an uncomfortable truth that only men can write about the real countryside. They understand its camaraderie between mammals, the elements, humour, the pub fireside and each other. In this, the Bart and the Bounder have produced a five-star book, which is a blazing beacon on a distant hillside."
Rory Knight Bruce, Country Life

" Endangered Species [is] a book in which the duo record their colourful encounters with numerous horny-handed sons of toil – poachers, rat-catchers, gillies, game-keepers, spud-pickers, fishermen – and present readers with glimpses of a vanishing but still vibrant rural community… There are some fine descriptive passages and many amusing anecdotes. I particularly enjoyed reading about Bart’s Christmas visitor, Mariga, Princess of Urach, estranged wife of Desmond Guiness, heir to the brewery fortune. Living in a house on the Antrim coast without electricity or heating, she was caught driving over the limit and lost her licence. She lent her clapped-out Citroen to a farmer to use as a chicken coop. On recovering her licence she wickedly parked it, covered in chicken muck, on the driveway of her ex-husband’s castle. Amusing, too, is the scam of a Yorkshire ex-miner who paints supermarket eggs to resemble rare osprey, golden eagle and other forbidden collectors’ species and sells them on eBay. Even the experts are fooled."
Val Hennessy – Critics’ Choice, Daily Mail

"Mike Daunt and his cousin Sir Richard Heygate embarked on a year-long journey across the length and breadth of the British Isles. This book, which is perfect for dipping into, describes their adventures as they sought out the eponymous “endangered species” of countrymen. Learn from their mistakes (such as eating hedgehog) and laugh with them over a pint of real ale. Their tales provide a fascinating insight into country ways of life that are more usually hidden. You should be left feeling, as Daunt and Heygate do, that you have been privileged to discover such a rapidly fading aspect of the world."
Mary Skipwith, The Field

Where to Buy:


For further information please contact:

Anya Noakes / Rebecca Dix

020 7483 2005 /

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