Remapping and Reconnecting Britain's Fragmented Wildlife
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 MacfarlaneAn 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.
Praise for Linescapes
In Linescapes, Hugh Warwick has written a gloriously unclassifiable book, a manifesto-adventure-exploration-reflection that manages to be political, passionate, perceptive – and very funnyRobert 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 importantCharles 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 foreverMiriam Darlington, author of Otter Country
A fascinating work of landscape detection based on entirely straight journeysStephen 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 enoughKathy 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 armsCharles 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 reconnectionMiriam 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 wayPaul 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 conservationGeographical
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