May 2013

Route & Branch by Bill Clark

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An autobiographical account of the life of Bill Clark, former Warden at Wandlebury Country Park near Cambridge

Beginning with his pre-war childhood in Bedfordshire, Bill Clark takes us through six decades of dramatic change; socially, in agriculture and, most importantly, in our natural environment.

Through his eyes, we see a boy growing up in a traditional farming background, where sparrows were pests, rabbits a good meal and horses provided real horse-power.  Bill takes us from unexploded bombs, via birds to bulls; from his first tractor to proficiency with a rifle to bag ‘one for the pot’ in Essex and Buckinghamshire.

Following Bill, we see the gradual decline of our natural diversity, which kindles a growing interest in conservation. When Bill becomes Warden at Wandlebury, near Cambridge, the rifle gives way to taking care of increasingly rare plants and wildlife at this historic site.

Forthright in speech and in action, Bill battles against vandals, mystic archaeologists, bureaucracy, plant thieves and the aftermath of The Great Storm (and those that followed).

Bill Clark’s story tells us of a past of sheer hard work and rural nostalgia and of the everyday toils and delights of conservation.

A book for all lovers of history, farming, tractors, bulls, bats, bees, dogs, beeches, snowdrops and many more.

AVAILABLE NOW TO READ FREE ONLINE in the internetarchive at 

The book is now out of print.

The author can be contacted at