"Downstream" is a celebration of rivers: an exploration of what they mean to us and an account of what we owe to them. Tom Fort followed the course of our third largest, and one of our least known rivers from source to the sea - the River Trent. Travelling partly on foot and bicycle, but chiefly in a plywood fifteen foot punt, Fort journeyed through the unsung heart of Middle England, showing him the unseen face of his own country. His journey taught him about the land and moving water, its mysteries and magic. Rivers are special to us and the landscape we inhabit. They shape and define our world. They give us power and nourishment. They were the first highways, routes for conquest and flight. They acted as barriers and connections. they stir the imagination and reach into our souls. This is an exploration into the historical, geographical, social, cultural and industrial aspects of a river filled with the curiosities, forgotten characters and departed ways.
Tom Fort read English at Balliol College, Oxford before going on to work as a reporter on a newspaper and then on to the BBC where he worked for over 20 years.He is married with five children and is the author of four other books. (Under the Weather published by Century and The Grass is Greener, The Far From Compleat Angler and The Book of Eels, published by Harper Collins).