I have spent thirty years writing and talking about the British countryside. My publications on various topics are listed below. Their subject-matter ranges from the ways children use the countryside for play and the politics of the National Trust to policy proposals in fields as diverse as agriculture and rural housing.
The books, essays and articles about rural affairs which I have written over the years fall into four main subject categories:
Image Courtesy of Trail Magazine
Proposals I have advocated over the years include:
- A new programme of social housing in rural areas
- Special protection for hedgerows
- The extension of the town and country planning system to embrace farming and forestry operations
- The designation of protected areas in Scotland and Northern Ireland
- New national parks in lowland England
- A rural land-tax-and-grant system in which the profits from land use would go to fund the enhancement of landscape and wildlife attractions and the creation of more opportunities for informal outdoor recreation
- A new national forests authority
- A new approach to green belt policy
- A reversal of the presumption in favour of building on brownfield sites rather than greenfield
- Special focus on the ‘edgeland’ landscape around towns and cities
- Greater freedom to roam through the introduction of a general right of public access to the countryside of the UK
- A right to swim in inland waters
- General public access to private squares in cities
- Better access to the countryside for people with disabilities
- More public transport to enable town and city-dwellers to get into the heart of the countryside.
I much enjoyed writing the (quite substantial) sections of my books This Land is our Land and A Right to Roam which discussed the history of the struggle over land rights in the UK and the philosophical debate over which rights in land owners should actually hold. You can find more information about my books in the books section of this website.
At present only a few of my articles on environment topics are available online - the ones hyperlinked below. If you would like to read one which has not been included, do get in touch and I will try to supply it.