Pick of the Picture Books: The Backbone of England

With an intriguing premise, which enabled the author to walk the length of the Pennines without ever getting his feet wet, this book sets out to follow Britain's watershed. As Andrew Bibby explains in The Backbone of England (Frances Lincoln, 20), this is the high point that divides water that will flow west, into the Irish Sea, from that trickling east, towards the North Sea: a course not influenced, by man-made roads or boundaries. With photography, by John Morrison, which brings out the unique, slaty beauty of this particular landscape, Bibby is keen to point out how the activities of man here do impact on the area and the world's climate. The carbon-setting properties of peat, the right to roam and the politics of killing crows all come into it.

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