The author Jules Pretty is based at the borders of the counties of Suffolk and Essex in eastern England. He lives in the village of Nayland, and is Professor of Environment and Society & Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Essex.
Jules has written and edited several books on the braiding of nature and people, exploring the importance of place and the land for identity and health of individuals and cultures. Jules’ latest book, The East Country: Almanac Tales of Valley and Shore, was published by Cornell University Press in Sept 2017.
The Edge of Extinction was also published by Cornell University Press (2014). This Luminous Coast (Full Circle, 2011) was also published in paperback by Cornell.
The East Country “encourages long attachments to the local as profoundly valuable undertakings” (Robert Macfarlane).
“A brave and visionary book” (Douglas Christie)
“A marvelous book… something mystical, a song of praise for a world that is vanishing” (Astrid Ogilvie)
His research centres on agricultural sustainability, nature and health, and consumption patterns and well-being. A new post on Manifesto for a Green Mind sets out a new research agenda building on healthy behaviours and contact with nature.
Jules received an OBE in 2006 for services to sustainable agriculture, an honorary degree from Ohio State University in 2009, and was a visiting Professor-at-Large at Cornell University for 6 years.
He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology and the Royal Society of Arts, former Deputy-Chair of the government’s Advisory Committee on Releases to the Environment, and has served on advisory committees for UK, US and Swiss government departments and research councils. He is Vice-President of Essex Wildlife Trust and the Rural Community Council of Essex. This Luminous Coast won the New Angle Prize for Literature in 2013. He received the British Science Association Presidential Medal, Agriculture and Food (2015). He is Founding and Chief Editor of the International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability.
Edge of Extinction reviews
“Always hyper-alert to the landscape and people… His writing tingles.” New Scientist (2014)
“Pretty writes beautifully of the places and people he meets … slowly building up layers of history, ecology, topography and culture.. A wealth of ecological and cultural wisdom emerges (from) each of the chapters.” Times Higher (2014)
“Hugely entertaining (and) wide-ranging. Pretty… offers ‘clues for moderns’ about how to live the good life. There are wonderful accounts of the ways in which nature permeates every aspect of existence.” Geographical Magazine (2014)
2015 paper published in IJEHR on “greener and prosocial economies”. Free to access.
2015 paper in Insects on how IPM & farmer field schools raise yields & reduce pesticide use by >50%. Free to access
2015 paper in JPH on “mental health outcomes of allotment gardening”. Free to access.
100 Hearts and Habits
100 Hearts and Habits is a year-long campaign to link with The Edge of Extinction. The world needs a global movement to keep it from the edge of extinction. A happier, healthier planet is possible, if the affluent change. The campaign uses social media to raise engagement with the idea of adopting 100 Hearts and Habits (#100HeartsandHabits).
Radio appearances (listen here)