The Lake District is one of our busiest national parks. Many people believe that wildness is long gone from the fells, lakes, tarns and becks, yet, within its boundaries, Jim Crumley sets out to prove them wrong – to find "a new way of seeing and writing about this most seen and written about of landscapes".
With a naturalist's eye and a poet's instinct he is drawn to Lakeland's turned-aside places where nature still thrives, from low-lying shores to a high mountain oakwood that's not even on the map. Through backwaters and backwoods, Crumley traces this captivating land's place in the evolution of global conservation and pleads the case for a far-reaching reappraisal of all of Lakeland's wildness.
Jim Crumley is an ardent advocate for our landscapes and animals, and the reintroduction of species like sea eagles, beavers and wolves. He is a nature writer, journalist and poet with decades of field observation and some 30 books to his name. He has won and been shortlisted for a number of prestigious awards. The sheer beauty of his description – in, for example, the Encounters in the Wild series of gift books which describe close and personal moments observing Britain’s favourite animals – has found him many dedicated readers.
"Notions of spirit of place thread through the book [...] soulful but resisting the ethereal."
– Cumbria Life Book of the Month, June 2021
"Wonderful [...] The language throughout is delicious. Intelligent and cultured, but not flowery or overblown. He paints vivid pictures in my mind [...] one feels that one is standing on the hillside with him."
– Mark Avery
"Another great book by Crumley. Being taken out of the comfort zone of his usual patch in Scotland has proved his mettle as a quality writer about the natural world [...] Great stuff."
– Paul Cheney