Invasive non-native species, Pocket Guide to Balsam Bashing, Writing

Balsam Bashing: The reviews are out!

Balsam Bashing reviews

A couple of months have passed since my Pocket Guide to Balsam Bashing was published in May this year, and it’s been great to see it gradually gaining traction across the environmental sector.

Here’s what the reviewers have been saying so far:

Neil Patterson in Fly Fishing & Fly Tying magazine: 

Stuffed with essential facts and lavishly illustrated, Pike’s easy-to-read style tells us what each of our Public Enemies No 1, 2 and 3 are, where they come from, how to recognise them, what damage they cause and, importantly, what you can do about them. More than a quiet nature ramble, Balsam Bashing is a rallying call…

Sorry, we can no longer plead ignorance.

Andrew Herd in Waterlog magazine:

Every now and then a book drops through the letter box for review and makes me smack my forehead and say, ‘Why didn’t I think of that!’  With this new Merlin Unwin pocket guide, the Ludlow publisher has unleashed one of my favourite authors, the phenomenal Theo Pike, on the awful
subject of invasive non-native species. If ever a book was needed, this one surely must qualify… I will warn you in advance that the contents are pretty alarming, but hopefully the publication of this excellent little guide will act as a wake-up call…

A milestone of a book, let’s see more from you, Theo.

Peter Smitham on Fly Fishers’ Republic:

‘Pocket guide’ is very apt as this tiny tome has found its way neatly into my Barbour jacket along with bird guide and travel binoculars! …

Extensive and enlightening in content, definitely one for the bookshelf (pocket) of every environmentally concerned nature lover.

Ian Welch on Fish&Fly and FishingMagic:

Empowering people to engage with and protect their environment at grassroots level is a tall order but Theo achieves it in an easy-to-read format and this is a book that should not just be in the pocket of every angler but also every gardener, rambler, birder…

It may be pocket-sized but this is a giant first step in getting the public to fight back and take responsibility for their environment.

Pete Tyjas on Eat, Sleep, Fish:

Angling writer Theo Pike has followed up his most excellent Trout in Dirty Places with a well thought out and very useful guide… easy to use and of a size that will fit in a fishing bag or fishing waistcoat pocket…

All in all, it is a really great book that tells us about the impact invasive species have on our environment but more importantly tells us what we can do about them. Good work Theo.

Bob Male in the Grayling Society’s Journal:

A thoroughly useful and timely book, free from scaremongering and exaggeration, and strongly recommended for anglers, river keepers and watchers, and for anyone interested in natural history and the protection of our wildlife.

Tankred Rinder on Forelle und Aesche:

Citizen participation in its purest form…  A handy pocket guide which every nature-lover concerned about the invasion of non-native species should carry with them.

Audrey Watson in BASC’s Shooting and Conservation magazine:

A mine of sound, practical advice. If you are helping to manage a shoot or a fishery, or even your own garden, it is essential reading.

Jeffrey Prest in Trout Fisherman magazine:

Like some kind of bathroom cleaner, Theo Pike is getting a reputation for getting into those corners of fishing that other writers won’t reach. First he departs from the sweet meadows and pure streams of angling cliche to bring us Trout in Dirty Places, a celebration of those urban rivers that now hold fish where they once held only toxins.  Now his latest book looks at nature’s dark side and the world of uninvited interlopers… 

It shouldn’t be anything like as interesting as it is, especially not with a reviewer whose fascination for botany and insects stops at tobacco leaves and Spiderman. Pike and his publishing team however, have an eye for pace and colour, both in the content of his books and the way they are laid out. Trout in Dirty Places bounced along and so does Balsam Bashing, when it could have easily been a dry read that looked like it came straight from the hands of a Defra committee.

Big thanks to everyone who’s reviewed Balsam Bashing so far, as well as all those who’ve been buying copies (and hopefully putting them to good use out there in the great British countryside)… with luck I’ll be able to add even more reviews to this list as they appear.