In every English field, tree, hedge, and pond lie clues to the secrets of the past. With the aid of more than 100 brilliant landscape photographs, and a writer of eloquence and wisdom, go on eight guided walks in areas of outstanding beauty -- into farmland and forest, moorland and sea, marshes and fen.
Weidenfeld Nicolson Illustrated
Publisher and industry reviews
UK Kirkus review
This book covers the history of the landscape of the British Isles from the last Ice Age up to the present day. It is an environmental history lesson, which explores what is revealed by features still surviving in the countryside and from old written and drawn records; a detective story of how, why and when various events happened to change the raw environment to the way it is today. Given the huge scope of its subject it is a tribute to the breadth and depth of the author's knowledge that it succeeds so well. Oliver Rackham divides the British Isles up by landscape and habitat type, from woodland to farmland, and for each he provides an historical summary explaining the origin of features such as hedgerows or highways, their development and modification, and their effect on the local area. There are a large number of high-quality photographs accompanying the text, many commissioned for the book, as well as copies of historic maps. The author has included eight specific walks over representative landscapes, each with an OS grid reference and map and an aerial photograph showing the route. Accompanying text and captions explain the significance of each walk's features. Oliver Rackham is a recognized authority on this subject and his own original research allows him to correct some widely held misbeliefs. He writing style is economical and he squeezes more facts into one sentence than seems possible. It is a pleasure to read a text where one feels in such a safe pair of hands. The subject matter is universally interesting and this book should appeal to a broad range of readers. (Kirkus UK)
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