From its earliest origins to the present day, this award-winning, beautifully written book describes the endlessly changing character of Britain's countryside.
'A classic' Richard Mabey
Exploring the natural and man-made features of the land - fields, highways, hedgerows, fens, marshes, rivers, heaths, coasts, woods and wood pastures - he shows conclusively and unforgettably how they have developed over the centuries. In doing so, he covers a wealth of related subjects to provide a fascinating account of the sometimes subtle and sometimes radical ways in which people, fauna, flora, climate, soils and other physical conditions have played their part in the shaping of the countryside.
'One thing is certain: no one would be wise to write further on our natural history, or to make films about it, without thinking very hard about what is contained in these authoritative pages' COUNTRY LIFE
A classic of scholarship and imagination...A monumental work, but it is written with humanity, dignity, concern and a great deal of humour - TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT
As quirky and rewarding as the English countryside itself ... it is full of answers to questions that others have not had the wit to ask - ECONOMIST
One thing is certain: no one would be wise to write further on our natural history, or to make films about it, without thinking very hard about what is contained in these authoritative pages - COUNTRY LIFE
Dr Oliver Rackham is 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.