REED—ON THE EDGE. Fifth book in the River Friend Series out 21st October 2020

The fifth little book all about the Reed water plant (Phragmites australis), to be published by River Friend, is due out soon. Here is a taster, and please watch out for it on Amazon and other famous bookshops.

RIVER FRIEND: A series of Riverine Small Books by Tina Bone and Sylvia M. Haslam. Book 5. REED—On The Edge

What are reeds (Phragmites) like? To begin with, it is one of the very few plants to be native (not introduced) in all five continents of the world.
Imagine working all day with a marvellous sky above and below surrounded by reeds, just a wind-blown rustle and calling birds—an experience not to be forgotten.
What are the uses of reeds and reedbeds? Whole human populations can live in and, in extreme cases, nearly entirely upon the reedbed. Hermits, and to some extent monks and nuns, ventured into reed wetlands so that their prayers would purify and sanctify the haunt of demons (St Guthlac, Beowulf).
In Europe, the struggle for community existence in the hazy band “twixt land and water”, is usually won by Phragmites. In the Americas, Australasia, Africa and much of Asia, it is usually won by other reedswamp species.
Is it just a grass; is it war-like? Yes. A silent battlefield where a plant is NOT “nice” to its neighbour in seeing that “next door” has space to grow, enough light to grow well, enough nutrients and, of course, enough water, just doesn’t happen. For the reed it is an intense and continuing, but silent, battle for survival. There is no peace in the reedbed for Phragmites—just the giant struggle for existence….

Fig. 1. Apart from its invaluable resource for humans, many animals and birds live and breed in the reedbed. For example, Reed Warblers and Bearded Tits (or Bearded Reedlings). Bearded Reedlings eat mainly reed seeds in winter and soft-bodied insects which gather poolside during the summer. Their nests are built with reed leaves and old fluffy seed heads. The figure shows a male bird with black moustache, and a more plain female, and eggs in a nest in the swaying reed stems.

Different wetland species and how they interact
Reedswamp into open water (historically common)
Seasonal patterns
Root toxins and short grass
The Scramblers
Management of reedbeds for some (human) use
Ways to Dominate
Plant factors
Outside factors acting in mixed stands
Reedswamp to Trees
List of Stand-alone Titles in the River Friend Series
About the Authors

St Mary’s Art Exhibition, Comberton. River Friend Books on show!

A wonderfully eclectic Art Exhibition at St Mary’s Church, Comberton from 18th to 20th November 2022. As well as my artwork, the River Friend Books will be on show and available to buy – the latest published title is “Water—Clean and Dirty”, a very interesting read. Click here for further details:

Book 7 in the River Friend Series is now published


This book is about the chemical nature of water, clean or dirty: the majestic main river, the rippling peaty stream or burn, the quiet meandering brook—rivers all over the place. There is an easy but false association in all our minds that clear water is clean. This is not so.

RFS7: WATER—CLEAN AND DIRTY. Click here for more information

Book 6 in the River Friend Series is now published

If you have ever wondered about the Water Framework Directive, this is the little book for you. It lists in simple terms what it is all about and gives you an idea of all the hard work that is involved in keeping us all supplied with drinking water.

RFS6: An Introduction to the Water Framework Directive.Click here for More information


A5 Limited Edition Handcrafted Desk Diary for 2021 by Tina Bone

A5 Limited Edition Handcrafted Desk Diary for 2021:

ONLY £10.00 EACH
A5 size (148mm wide x 210mm tall), 114 pages. Wire bound. Front and back covers are 260gsm gloss card, laminated, and internal pages are 160gsm bright white matt paper. This diary design has lots of space for writing your important dates and events on: one week per page (Monday to Sunday) with a couple of pictures with prose and poems interleaved between each week.
This is a limited edition of just 25 handcrafted copies. CLICK HERE FOR FURTHER DETAILS AND TO PURCHASE.

2012 The Mighty Reed and Reedlings completed

I have just completed this little water colour painting (on Aquarelle Arches 140lbs 100% cotton rag paper, size 14″ x 10″). It is Figure 1 in the next River Friend Book: “REED: ON THE EDGE”. This is only a snippet as the full picture will be published in the book in due course. Only another 33 figures to do! I do hope you like this little creature, commonly called bearded tit, but proper name is Reedling.

Male Reedling