Learning to Read the Landscape

I recently wrote a guest post for Cumbria Wildlife Trust about learning to become ecologically literate as an adult.

I remember running through a field with my best friend on her parents’ farm when I was about ten years old.

I heard the strangest sound overhead – I thought it was a metal detector or maybe a robot, and couldn’t for the life of me understand why it was coming from the sky. It was nearly 20 years later that I finally learned what a lapwing sounds like.

Actually, for most of my life I didn’t know the names of many birds beyond magpies and sparrows, or the difference between beech and birch. I grew up outside Whitehaven and spent much of those years playing outdoors with my brothers and friends: nature was the backdrop to our fantasy worlds, inspired by The Lord of the Rings. Mounds of earth overgrown with long grasses were our mountain ranges; the bog at the bottom of the field was a deadly swamp. There was a whole village in the hollows of the hawthorn hedges, and an old railway sleeper behind the barn was a narrow bridge over a ravine.

To read the rest, head to the Cumbria Wildlife Trust blog.

10% of author royalties from sales of The Sky Beneath the Stone are donated to Cumbria Wildlife Trust.

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