Ancient oakwoods, thickets of shimmering birches or lonely clumps of gnarled Caledonian pine all count among the most atmospheric and inspiring places in Scotland. This is a winning portrait of the forests as we encounter them today, and their part in Scotland's story: from the Ice Age to the great woodlands imagined by the planting Dukes of Atholl and the blanket spruce plantations of the post-war years. Eloquently written with a blend of myth and archaeological evidence, vivid glimpses of the great personalities and a taste of environmental and economic controversies, Landscapes and Lives is a book as rich and memorable as the forests themselves.
A former arts editor of the Herald, John Fowler's travel/hillwalking book Have You Seen the Glories? appeared in 2000, and before that his play Whaur's Yer Willie Wallace Noo? created a small stir on the Edinburgh Fringe. He lives in Linlithgow.