New Naturalist Dartmoor explores the complex and fascinating history of one of southern England's greatest National Parks, an area of enormous interest to naturalists and tourists alike.
Dartmoor is said to be the loneliest wilderness in England. This has been said more often of Dartmoor than any other part of our country. Traditionally in the world of fiction as well as that of fact, Dartmoor has been renowned as a vast and empty moorland area, the property of nature rather than of man. It has always been the public's idea of a lonely place.
Not many generations ago it was regarded with a certain amount of awe and nowadays it is one of our most important centres of recreation, an island in upland England of abundant interest to the naturalist. In 1951 it became a National Park, one of the first of several places that have been so designated in Great Britain, helping to conserve and promote both its beauty and cultural heritage.
Spanning miles of open moorland, whilst also hiding small secluded river valleys, rare plants and endangered birds, Dartmoor is a place of variety, and has evolved in the public's mind from a forbidding place to that of romance and mystery.
In the latest addition to the long-running New Naturalist series, Ian Mercer sets out to explore every aspect of this important area of southern Devon. Focusing not only on its extensive history and physical landscape, but also its cultural place within Great Britain, this is both a comprehensive and engaging look at the wild and rugged landscape that has inspired so many poets, painters and musicians over countless centuries.