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The modern classic, enhanced by fine landscape photography and specially commissioned artwork. The author guides the reader on eight walks in some of Britain's best loved places, in an exploration of the multi-layered history of our countryside.
Introduction; Rural Detection; Animals & Plants; Woodland; Grassland & Heath; Moorland; Dr Oliver Rackham's Countryside Walks 1-8
The late Dr Oliver Rackham was a botanist and a Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. An acknowledged authority on the British countryside, especially trees, woodlands and pasture. The History Of The Countryside won the 1986 Angel Literary Award, the Sir Peter Kent Conservation Prize and the Natural World Book of the Year Award.
'It would seem a mammoth task to trace the history of the British countryside, but one that the author achieves well. With more than 100 colour photographs, the book appears almost as a cross between a geography textbook and a glossy coffee-table book. Whatever it is, it's un-put-downable for anyone who has any interest in the countryside, giving a vivid overview of how and why our landscape is as it is today.' SHOOTING TIMES & COUNTRY MAGAZINE (July 2003) 'Any walk, any drive, any bike ride, anywhere in the British countryside will take you past such a wealth of history that you'd never get anywhere if you stopped to explore and appreciate all that's there. When you do stop to take a look though, you'll need a guide to explain what it is you're looking at. Oliver Rackham's marvellous book is that guide... And even if you never leave your house, THE ILLUSTRATED... is so full of fascinating anecdotes about the way our landscape has been changed' LIVING HISTORY (September 2003) 'This is a wonderful account of the English countryside and man's influence upon it over the centuries. Profusely illustrated, it explains simply, for example, why fens were created, the effects of the introduction of the rabbit and the way to coppice woods.' FAMILY HISTORY MONTHLY (September 2003) 'This is a rural detective story, a book that looks at history, ecology and consrvation in the countryside and details the many-layered story of the British landscape...and recording human intervention and activity along with natural phenomena... Illustrated with more than 100 colour plates including maps and photoraphs, this is a handy guide-cum-reference book that is also a pleasure to read' HOME & COUNTRY (WI) (October 2003) 'Repackaged and beautifully illustrated, Rackham's classic guide to the shaping of our countryside reveals the fascinating - and often shady - past of the British landscape.' COUNTRYSIDE VOICE (Autumn 2003) 'How to read the landscape around you, and walk in it with knowledge and understanding. A fascinating exploration of Britain, to read with pleasure.' CHOICE (November 2003) 'Each [chapter] is a carefully documented record of developments from the earliest times to 2000, from the original wildwood to our present patchwork countryside ... idiosyncratic and stimulating book.' COUNTRYMAN (October 2003) 'Crammed full to capacity with information about the landscape and nature, and including some splendid walks in some fo the author's favourite areas, this is a book that will please any country lover.' THIS ENGLAND (Winter 2003)