Linescapes: Remapping and Reconnecting Britain’s Fragmented Wildlife

Linescapes by Hugh Warwick

Square Peg, £17.99

It is rare to find a landscape untouched by our lines - the hedges, walls, ditches and dykes built to enclose and separate; and the green lanes, roads, canals, railways and power lines, designed to connect.

This vast network of lines has transformed our landscape.

In Linescapes, Hugh Warwick unravels the far-reaching ecological consequences of the lines we have drawn: as our lives and our land were being fenced in and threaded together, so wildlife habitats have been cut into ever smaller, and increasingly unviable, fragments. Hugh Warwick has travelled across the country to explore this linescape from the perspective of our wildlife and to understand how, with a manifesto for reconnection, we can help our flora and fauna to flourish.

Linescapes offers a fresh and bracing perspective on Britain's countryside, one that proposes a challenge and gives ground for hope; for while nature does not tend to straight lines and discrete borders, our lines can and do contain a real potential for wildness and for wildlife.


"An ecologically sophisticated Enid Blyton." (Charles Foster, Oldie Magazine)

"Part discovery, part wonderment, both a travel narrative and a scientific exploration, Linescapes could change the way we perceive our land and its inhabitants forever" (Miriam Darlington, author of Otter Country)

"Eye-opening and inspiring. Linescapes has utterly transformed my vision of the British countryside. Hugh Warwick offers a compelling primer for rethinking and rewilding our fragmented natural world." (Roman Krznaric, author of Empathy and Carpe Diem Regained)

"Accessible and entertaining... Linescapes has given me hope for the future." (Stephen Trotter, Director, Wildlife Trust, England)

"I will never again look at a hedgerow or dyke in the same way. This is a beautifully crafted book which elegantly explains why and how our UK landscape has comes to look like a patchwork quilt – with each section of the quilt joined together by human-created needlework in the form of hedgerows, ditches, dykes, paths, green lanes, canals, roads... This book is both timely and essential reading. I can’t recommend it highly enough" (Kathy Willis, Director of Science, Kew Gardens)