The Wood: The Life and Times of Cockshutt Wood by John Lewis-Stempel (Black Swan, £9.99)

Farmer John Lewis-Stempel managed Cockshutt Wood for four years. He coppiced the trees and raised the cows and pigs who roamed free within its three-and-a-half acres. This magical book is a diary of the final year of that stint and a poignant love letter to the land.

As Lewis-Stempel writes: "Woods like Cockshutt are special: they are, for many fauna and flora, the last refuge. They are fortresses of nature against the tide of people and agribusiness."

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It provided a much-needed sanctuary for Lewis-Stempel too as he withdrew into its tranquillity and marvelled at the wonders of the seasons, becoming well acquainted with the many creatures – the fox, the pheasants, the wood mice, the tawny owl, the woodpecker – who called Cockshutt home.

Shepherd's Delight by Tom Duncan (Fort Publishing, £9.99)

Tom Duncan was the pen name of the late Rog Wood, journalist and farming editor of The Herald, who died in 2019. Shepherd's Delight brings together a collection of some of his best writing.

It is a witty and absorbing read about life at his 700-acre hill farm near Sanquhar, covering tattie howking, a favourite cow, the dizzying whirl of farmers markets, the menace from townies, the changing face of agriculture and the tragedy of foot-and-mouth.

First published in 2006, Shepherd's Delight is available to order from several online retailers. I was thrilled to pick up a copy in the second-hand book shop at the Fishermen's Mission in Mallaig a couple of years back.

The works of Beatrix Potter

Is there a more prolific author/farmer than the much beloved Beatrix Potter? She famously fell in love with the latter vocation after buying Hill Top, a working farm in Cumbria, with royalties from her first book, The Tale of Peter Rabbit, in 1905.

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Hill Top and the surrounding countryside of the Lake District provided inspiration for many of Potter's subsequent books and famed creations such as Jemima Puddle-Duck, Tom Kitten and Samuel Whiskers.

Potter was a passionate conservationist and upon her death in 1943 bequeathed 15 farms covering more than 4,000 acres, including Yew Tree Farm at Coniston (pictured above), to the National Trust to preserve these special landscapes and the Herdwick, a local traditional breed of sheep.