The Lost Rainforests of Britain


The Lost Rainforests of Britain Author: Format: Paperback / softback First Published: Published By: HarperCollins Publishers
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Pages: 336 Language: English ISBN: 9780008527990 Categories: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

From the bestselling author of Who Owns England?, a mesmerising chronicle of our forgotten rainforests – and an inspiring intervention to help restore them to the places they once were In 2020, writer and campaigner Guy Shrubsole moved from London to Devon. As he explored the wooded valleys, rivers and tors of Dartmoor, Guy discovered a spectacular habitat that he had never encountered before: temperate rainforest. Entranced, he would spend the coming months investigating the history, ecology and distribution of rainforests across England, Wales and Scotland. Britain, Guy discovered, was once a rainforest nation.

This is the story of a unique habitat that has been so ravaged, most people today don’t realise it exists. Temperate rainforest may once have covered up to one-fifth of Britain and played host to a dazzling variety of luminous life-forms, inspiring Celtic druids, Welsh wizards, Romantic poets, and Arthur Conan Doyle’s most loved creations. Though only fragments now remain, they form a rare and internationally important habitat, home to lush ferns and beardy lichens, pine martens and pied flycatchers.

But why are even environmentalists unaware of their existence? And how have we managed to so comprehensively excise them from our cultural memory?

Taking the reader on an awe-inspiring journey through the Atlantic oakwoods and hazelwoods of the Western Highlands and the Lake District, down to the rainforests of Wales, Devon and Cornwall, The Lost Rainforests of Britain maps these under-recognised ecosystems in exquisite detail – but underlines that without immediate political and public support, we risk losing them from the landscape, and perhaps our collective memory, forever.

A rich, elegiac and boundary-pushing feat of research and reportage, this is the extraordinary tale of one person’s quest to find Britain’s lost rainforests, and bring them back.

Weight0.45 kg




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‘Remarkable … Shrubsole has completely changed the way many people look at the temperate woodlands that remain in parts of western Britain’ Financial Times ‘If anyone was born to save Britain’s rainforests, it was Guy Shrubsole’ Sunday Times, The Sunday Times Science Book of the Year ‘Fascinating, lyrical … A celebration of these dazzling worlds and a plea to act before they are extinguished’ The Times ‘[The Lost Rainforests of Britain] could be a lament but instead it is suffused with the irrepressible positivity and cheerful enthusiasm of a born campaigner’ Patrick Barkham, Guardian ‘Enchanting and insightful … Wonderfully evocative’ Geographical ‘Excellent … Inspiring’ Unherd ‘A treasure chest full of woodland jewels, rare, precious and beautiful’ Chris Packham ‘A magnificent and crucial book that opens our eyes to untold wonders’ George Monbiot ‘A beautiful, lyrical and urgent book … I cannot recommend it enough’ Nick Hayes, author of the Sunday Times-bestselling The Book of Trespass ‘Utterly enchanting, transporting and spellbinding … A rallying cry for restoring the rainforests of Britain urgently, and an inspiring and informative must-read for anyone interested in rewilding and ecological restoration’ Lucy Jones, author of Losing Eden ‘Passionate, powerful, political and practicable, Guy Shrubsole gives us a blueprint for how to bring our missing rainforests back to life in all their riotous, tangled glory. Impeccably researched, convincingly argued and with generous measures of joyful discovery, this really is a spectacular book’ Lee Schofield, author of Wild Fell