Book Review: The Wild Places

wild-placesRobert Macfarlane is without a doubt one of the best nature writers of our time, his words magically transport the reader to untamed landscapes as he tells the tales of the wild places of our islands.

The Wild Places is a love story. It’s an account of his own personal journey of discovery into the outer and inner worlds of wildness and reminds us just how fortunate we are to live in these lands of richness and diversity.

He begins by bemoaning the fact that we apparently have no wildness left in our islands, that the vastly swollen population has removed all traces of wilderness and that everywhere is now tamed and diluted. Making it his mission to see if this is truly the case he sets out around the British Isles, alone and with no real defined plan. Soon, he discovers wildness is intact and touchable by any who care to spend a little time exploring.

We have all heard of the issue of NDD, Nature Deficit Disorder, a condition that plagues modern humanity and enforces a feeling of great disconnect. Time outdoors is the only cure. However I must admit that immersing oneself in the pages of this book is almost as healing and nurturing as a walk in the wild wood or a stroll on a windswept coastline.

During his adventure he visits places the length and breadth of our islands including beechwoods, mountain summits, desolate moorlands, rolling heathlands and riverlands both near and far from civilsation. His evocative prose brings to life the nature and spirit of our land like nothing I’ve ever read before.

As his journey unfolds he comes to realise that we do in fact have wildness around us, we just have to open our eyes to the truth of this. Wild Places can be found in the cracks of a pavement, in the rebellious growth of a sapling in a gutter or the wild unkempt corners of the most municipal of parklands. By walking in the wilder places he became attuned to the breath of nature all around him.

As The Times newspaper said: “A wonderful evocation of Britain’s natural beauty and a reminder of our need to connect with the wilderness.”

If you thought you had a long journey ahead of you to see wilderness just open this book and know that we are it. Click here to see the book on Amazon.