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An eye-opening exploration of the lines that cut through our countryside, from hedges to railways, and a passionate manifesto for reconnecting wildlife.

‘Glorious… Political, passionate, perceptive’ Robert Macfarlane
An eye-opening exploration of the lines that cut through our countryside, from hedges to railways, and a passionate manifesto for reconnecting wildlife.
Our landscape has been transformed by a vast network of lines, from hedges and walls to railways and power cables. In Linescapes, Hugh Warwick unravels the far-reaching ecological consequences of these changes. As our lives and our land were fenced in and threaded together, wildlife habitats were cut into ever smaller – and increasingly unviable – fragments.

Yet as Warwick travels across this linescape, he shows that we can help our flora and fauna to flourish once again. With his fresh and bracing perspective on Britain’s countryside, he proposes a challenge and gives ground for hope, for our lines can and do contain a real potential for wildness and for wildlife.

Reviews

In Linescapes, Hugh Warwick has written a gloriously unclassifiable book, a manifesto-adventure-exploration-reflection that manages to be political, passionate, perceptive – and very funny

Robert Macfarlane

A requiem, a call to arms and a delighted amble along a hedge: a kind, wise, angry, jolly and mournful book, as rumbustiously readable as it is urgently important

Charles Foster, author of Being a Beast

Part discovery, part wonderment, both a travel narrative and a scientific exploration, Linescapes could change the way we perceive our land and its inhabitants forever

Miriam Darlington, author of Otter Country

A fascinating work of landscape detection based on entirely straight journeys

Stephen Moss, Best Nature Books of 2017, Guardian

Eye-opening and inspiring. Linescapes has utterly transformed my vision of the British countryside. Hugh Warwick offers a compelling primer for rethinking and rewilding our fragmented natural world.

Roman Krznaric, author of Empathy and Carpe Diem Regained

Accessible and entertaining... Linescapes has given me hope for the future.

Stephen Trotter, Director, Wildlife Trust, England

I will never again look at a hedgerow or dyke in the same way. This is a beautifully crafted book which elegantly explains why and how our UK landscape has comes to look like a patchwork quilt – with each section of the quilt joined together by human-created needlework in the form of hedgerows, ditches, dykes, paths, green lanes, canals, roads... This book is both timely and essential reading. I can’t recommend it highly enough

Kathy Willis, Director of Science, Kew Gardens

Hugh Warwick’s tremendous book is a lurid, mournful and sometimes enragingly upbeat account… Warwick is a warm, chatty writer – first-class company in a ditch or swamp… He’s one of the warriors of Twyford Down; a naturalist of great stature, with palpable empathy for the natural world… To march with him along these linescapes is to learn, to laugh and, ultimately, to weep… He has composed a profound, lyrical love song – and hence a powerful call to arms

Charles Foster, Oldie

In Linescapes, Hugh Warwick provides a good-humoured, even visionary, perspective on the fragile ecology of our hedges, roads, power lines and railways… The author is at his lyrical best when discussing “ancient paths and green lanes” … He focuses his inquisitive eye on beauty and complexity… and praises the luxuriant foxgloves… Warwick is a generous companion and never a prickly know-it-all, even as he presents his manifesto for reconnection

Miriam Darlington, Guardian

Linescapes is a timely book. Warwick pulls together a lot of disparate elements of the landscape and tries to make us think about them in a cohesive way

Paul Cheney, Nudge

Warwick has hit on a fresh approach by pointing out that nature doesn’t really do straight lines, yet straight lines are exactly what we have introduced… Warwick has probed some interesting perspectives, serious food for thought whatever your stance on conservation

Geographical

I will never again look at a hedgerow or dyke in the same way. This is a beautifully crafted book which elegantly explains why and how our UK landscape has comes to look like a patchwork quilt – with each section of the quilt joined together by human-created needlework in the form of hedgerows, ditches, dykes, paths, green lanes, canals, roads etc. The creation of these ‘lines’ and their unintentional consequences for biodiversity, is something that everyone should take note of – some good, some bad. In a time when attention is increasingly turning towards the question of how can we conserve UK biodiversity alongside other competing demands for land from urbanization and travel infrastructure to food production, this is book is both timely and essential reading. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Kathy Willis

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9780099597766

    May 15, 2018

    Vintage

    272 pages

    RRP $22.99

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    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook

    9781473511286

    May 4, 2017

    Vintage Digital

    272 pages

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