30 JULY 1948, Page 17

Neglected Creatures

You would have thought that, in an island so thick with naturalists as this, every sort of subject would have been well treated in literature, but it is one of the first discoveries of the Council for the Promotion of Field Studies, a new and most practical organisation, that there is no answer to students and members of the general public who ask for informative books on certain themes. Bats and marine biology, its plants as well as its animals, are two of the neglected subjects. With the co-operation of the Cambridge University Press, the council, through such learned and charming writers as Dr. E. A. Ennion, have already set their hands to the work of filling the gaps. Bats will lead the way. Most of us, perhaps, are familiar with the little pipistrelle and may have beard that Wells Cathedral is peculiarly rich in species ; but there our knowledge ends, unless we happen to have turned out a noctule hiber- nating in a heap of stones. As to marine biology, how many of those who will go for seaside holidays would like a good guide to the rocky pool, the shells, the shingle, the seaweeds and much besides ? Mr. Bright- well has lately published a charining general book, and Mr. Steps' Shells is standard, but very much detail, even in regard to shells, is desired.