Books library

We have a number of books and videos on Transition-related subjects that we are happy to lend. To borrow one please email

Title Author Year Publisher Synopsis
Pamphlet: Gardening with Beneficial Insects for natural pest control  Jill Schnabel 1990 HDRA fascinating details about predators that feed on pests and why not to use pesticides (even natural ones).
Pamphlet: Jill Schnabel 1990 HDRA The whys, wherefores, mulching and harvesting of comfrey and how to use effectively.
Comfrey for Gardeners
Communities, Councils and a Low-carbon Future.  Copy 1 Alexis Rowell 2010 Green Books ‘What we can do if governments won’t’ [or only pretend they do]? Transition is grass-roots-led but needs to work with local councils.
Communities, Councils and a Low-carbon Future.  Copy 2 Alexis Rowell 2010 Green Books ‘What we can do if governments won’t’ [or only pretend they do]? Transition is grass-roots-led but needs to work with local councils.
 Leaflet:  Getting the best from your Composter Blackwall Ltd   Blackwall Ltd Practical considerations and trouble-shooting for home composting products
Leaflet: composting secrets Centre for Alternative Technology   C.A.T. Basically: compost heaps need plenty of roughage: shredded paper, crumpled cardboard as well as kitchen scraps and grass clippings
The Container Expert Dr D G Hessayon 1995 Expert Books The basic advantages, disadvantages and ‘must dos’ of growing in containers.  Ideal for Buxton!  Clear and straightforward.
The Earth Care Manual… . for Britain . . . Temperate Climates Patrick Whitehead 2004 Permanent Publications Responsible choices for being part of the solution. ‘visionary and practical’ (RHS).  Describes the principles of permaculture.
The Easy-care Gardening Expert Dr D G Hessayon 1996 Expert Books Short cuts and tips for an attractive garden for the physically-restricted or those short of time.  Not for the keen organic gardener.
Encyclopaedia of Gardening (RHS  definitive) Jane Aspden [Managing Editor] 1999 Dorling Kindersley Comprehensive practical information for amateur and professional.  Useful indices and glossaries.  Use with confidence.
The Evergreen Expert Dr D G Hessayon 1998 Expert Books Essential sound basic advice on the pitfalls and joys of choosing and caring for the wide range of plants described as evergreens. 
The Flower Expert Dr D G Hessayon 1998 Pbi publications A ‘complete’ list of plants with lots of clear, specific details and more general advice on cultivation and propagation.
How to make a Forest Garden Patrick Whitefield 1996 Permanent Publications A good read even if you are not lucky enough to have a mini-forest! Lots of interesting tips on things like natural pest control.
Pamphlet: Friend and Foe in Garden Joy Griffith-Jones 1977 The Soil Association Alphabetical.  Maintain a balance (the answer lies in the soil).  Natural controls (eg nasturtium sprays). NB. The long black slug eats other slugs.
Future Scenarios David Holmgren 2009 Green Books A bit dated on Peak Oil (although still relevant to an intentional reduction). The prediction of a gradual decline in the old system seems to be underway?  Maybe we still can choose how to adapt? 
The Garden DIY Expert Dr D G Hessayon   Pbi publications Looking after the non-living parts of the garden including construction.  An answer to the DIYers prayer.
NEW Gardening Year Antony Atha et al 1968 Readers Digest A comprehensive month by month reference book, Not organic but a wealth of useful tips for the amateur gardener.
Pamphlet: Green Manures Henry Doubleday Research Assn,   Garden Organic What it says on the tin: a compact but comprehensive guide – worth reading for the organic / no-dig gardener
The Greenhouse Expert Dr D G Hessayon 1994 Expert Books Down to earth advice for an amateur gardener starting and running a cool house or conservatory (i.e. one with some heating in Winter)
Leaflet:   Ten things to do to help Honey Bees British Beekeepers Association 2009 British Beekeepers Association Viruses transferred by the varroa mite threaten bees.  Not just bee friendly plants but other straightforward tips.
The Houseplant Expert Dr D G Hessayon 1980 Pbi publications The basic rules and secrets of success with houseplants.  A must-read for amateur houseplant carers.
Knead to Know.   Richard Bertinet 2010 Real Bread Campaign Invaluable if you want to get serious about bread, even as an amateur. Useful sections on courses, suppliers & media relationships.
The Real Bread Starter
Leaflet: Make your own Leafmould HDRA   HDRA Simple, straightforward advice – Essential reading if you have leaves
Local Money Peter North 2010 Transition Books The why, the vision, the how of local currency. But remember the disclaimer: this is an experiment – we don’t know whether it will work.  See appendix.
Pamphlet:   Practical Mulching Patrick Whitefield et al various Permanent Publications A number of articles re-printed from Permaculture News.  Sharing experience: some useful tips
Pamphlet:  Mulching.   HDRA 1990 HDRA Biodegradable, Hortopaper, Plastic mulches, (carpets, cardboard and newspaper)
Step by step Organic Gardening
Pamphlet:  Organic by Design – Creating an Organic Garden Pauline Pears et al   HDRA. The organic organisation  Compact and step-by-step guide to starting from scratch.  Helpful ideas for Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
The Organic Gardener Christine and Michael Lavelle 2003 Hermes House An excellent, lucid, attractive, down-to-earth introduction and reference book suitable for a serious amateur.  Includes ponds.
Leaflet: Growing Organic Herbs Charlotte de la Bedoyere? 2003 HDRA Clear and concise.  Mainly in containers so no garden required.  Instructions on the growing medium.  List of herbs and their uses. 
Pamphlet: Guidelines for Organic Gardening Advisory Dept of HDRA.   HDRA A compact guide to best practice, acceptable, qualified and not recommended for weed control etc etc.
Organic Gardening – The natural no-dig way Charles Dowding 2007 Green Books How to get a healthy, fertile soil.  Useful lists of varieties. Lots of useful tips (e.g. choose sowing dates to avoid pests) & some recipes
Leaflet: How to grow Organic Vegetables from seed Rebecca Potts Pauline Pears 2003 HDRA Simple, straightforward advice.  Well worth reading!
The Permaculture Garden Graham Bell 2004 Permanent Publications Amazing amount of user-friendly information and ideas even for small gardens.  Read this and you cannot fail to be inspired.
Permaculture in a Nutshell Patrick Whitehead 1993 Permaculture Publications Good compact introduction but a bit dry in parts.  Illuminating chapters on mulching and chickens as part of permaculture systems.
Pest Control without Poisons HDRA 1990 HDRA Methods for successful culture of plants.  Some common prob’s solved.  (Note: Although no poisons allowed, there are some allowed sprays.) 
Plants for the Future Ken Fern 1997 Permanent Publications A wide range of alternative food and energy plants grown using permaculture methods (max output for min work), especially trees
The little book of Slugs Allan Shepherd and Suzanne Galant [Eds] 2002 Centre for Alternative Technology ‘Succeeds in mixing good practical advice with zany humour.’  Get to know your enemy – they will run the world when humans are an ecological footnote.  Note that slug pellets are only 60% effective on slugs and harmful for other wild-life.
Leaflet Slugs: what can you do about them? Peter Harper   Centre for Alternative Technology Some interesting and humane methods (if being fed to ducks is humane), notably the highly effective comfrey method. Give it a go.
Leaflet: Organic Soil Care Jo Readman? 1999 HDRA ‘Soil is the cornerstone of organic gardening’ – so this is essential reading if you aspire to organic cultivation
How to Store Your Garden Produce The key to Self Sufficiency Piers Warren 2008 Green Books Essential reading for those who grow more than can be consumed at the time.  Easy to follow.  Lots of recipes as well.
The Transition Handbook Rob Hopkins 2008 Green Books The dangers of oil ‘running out’ no longer apply because we must leave it in the ground to avoid C. Catastrophe but still the TT ‘Bible’
copy 1
The Transition Handbook Rob Hopkins 2008 Green Books The dangers of oil ‘running out’ no longer apply because we must leave it in the ground to avoid Climate Catastrophe – but this is still the TT ‘Bible’
copy 2
The Transition Timeline Shaun Chamberlin 2009 Green Books “. . provides an invaluable set of innovative approaches, new narratives and creative thinking tools that will prove vital in enabling us to shape a new kind of society . . . It should be read by everyone, immediately.” Paul Allen, CAT director.  What can I add?
The tree and shrub Expert   copy  1 Dr D G Hessayon   Pbi publications Down to earth advice for all planting and maintaining all sorts of garden trees and shrubs, including their use in hedges
The tree and shrub Expert    copy  2 Dr D G Hessayon   Pbi publications Down to earth advice for all planting and maintaining all sorts of garden trees and shrubs, including their use in hedges
The NEW Vegetable and Herb Expert Dr D G Hessayon 1997 Expert Books Up to date guidance on growing & avoiding pitfalls for all sorts of vegetables in all sorts of conditions.  You don’t need an allotment.
Pamphlet: Grow Vegetables Anna Corbett 2003 Emmerson Press Useful introduction to no-dig methods, use of mulches and beds.  Also edible ornamentals
in lots of ways
How to enjoy your Weeds Audrey Hatfield 1969 Frederick Muller  Arranged alphabetically. Some surprising histories of and benefits from weeds.  Also the low-down on their harm to wanted plants.
Wildlife Gardening Fran Hill 1988 Derbyshire Wildlife Trust Low impact gardening in sympathy with wild-life.  A small book with lots concise but lucid practical detail on a wide range of topics. 
A Practical Handbook