Guy Shrubsole, formerly a campaigner and an investigator for Friends of the Earth, has written widely for publications including the Guardian and New Statesman. His previous book, Who Owns England?, was an instant Sunday Times bestseller. Described by Robert Macfarlane as “a formidable, brave and important book,” it exposed the history of how England’s elite came to own our land, and laid out an inspiring manifesto for how to open up our countryside once more.
Now, he joins us in the bookshop for his new book The Lost Rainforests of Britain, a mesmerising chronicle that will transform the British landscape as you know it.
In 2020, Guy moved from London to Devon. As he began to explore the wooded valleys, rivers and tors of Dartmoor, he discovered an extraordinary habitat that he had never come across before: temperate rainforest. Entranced, he would spend the coming months exploring and researching the history and distribution of rainforest in the British Isles.
Britain, Guy discovered, was once a rainforest nation.
This is the story of a unique habitat that has become so denuded and fragmented, most people today don’t realise it exists. Britain’s rainforests have been lost from both the landscape and from cultural memory, yet fragments of them remain and continue to permeate our culture in forgotten ways. Featuring trespassing botanists, Welsh wizards, lichen geeks, Sherlock Holmes, Romantic poets and Celtic druids, The Lost Rainforests of Britain takes the reader from the Atlantic hazelwoods and oakwoods of the Western Highlands, down through the Lake District, parts of the Peak District, Wales and into Devon and Cornwall, and shows how they might be restored to the places they once were.
A beautifully spun detective story, The Lost Rainforests of Britain is an unforgettable chronicle of our land – its past, present and future – as we have never before encountered it.