THE NATURAL HISTORY OF THE NORTH IN TUDOR ENGLAND, by Marie Addyman. Available from the Tourist Information Office, The Chantry, Morpeth, or at or by post (send a cheque for £9 payable to Friends of William Turner Morpeth to 26 Low Stobhill, Morpeth NE61 2SQ). £7.95. Softback.

WHILE earlier naturalists had mistakenly believed redstarts and robins to be one species, William Turner was the first to clearly identify them as two distinct species, and he also recorded the presence of the corncrake which is now a rare and occasional visitor to the North East.
This is a gazetteer of the renowned 16th century Morpeth-born botanist’s references to birds, fishes and plants. His only record of a sea mammal was of a porpoise which he subsequently dissected.
Turner’s plant records are the most extensive part of his writing on natural history. Species he listed include a colony of herb paris in Cottingwood, Morpeth, which can still be found at this location today; corn cockle, pignut, green hellebore and marram grass which he recorded at Seaton Delaval; of the latter he noted “there they make hats of it”.