During the early 1970s Richard Mabey set about mapping his unofficial countryside. He walked crumbling city docks and overgrown bomb sites, navigating inner city canals and car parks, exploring sewage works, gravel pits, rubbish tips. What he discovered runs deeper than a natural history of our suburbs and cities. The Unofficial Countryside prescribes another way of seeing, another way of experiencing nature in our daily lives. Wild flowers glimpsed from a commuter train. A kestrel hawking above a public park. Enchanter’s nightshade growing through pavement cracks. Fox cubs playing on a motorway’s scrubby fringe. There is a scarcely a nook in our urban landscape incapable of supporting life. It is an inspiration to find this abundance, to discover how plants, birds, mammals and insects flourish against the odds in the most obscure and surprising places.