A Christmas present that I hesitate to share, or even share the idea of… is ‘Britain and Ireland’s Best Wild Places’ book. It does exactly what it says on the tin and in an appetising way.
Try this paragraph for size:
‘Nothing grows in the shadow of the yews. They preside over empty, shady slopes of flint chalk and their own tindery flakings and droppings. Druids worshipped them and armourers harvested them, but nothing can live with them.’
Before you sigh and mutter that this book will threaten the few remaining wild places, and that my blogging about it isn’t helping much either… fear not, I have a plan. Perhaps we could all agree to buy the book, read it and then not visit any of the places in it, satisfying ourselves instead in a cathartic way by just daydreaming of expanses of wonderful wildness? Or, as the collective will collapses, maybe we should just race each other to them and hope we get there before the ice cream vans.