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English Pastoral

James Rebanks



English Pastoral tells of an ancient landscape on the verge of collapse.

It is a chronicle of three generations on a small fell farm, who saw the old ways slip away and the fields pulled out of shape by forces far beyond their control. It is a song of witness and of hope, of sustaining life on the land through uncertain times. It is the story of a community who cling on; of a little life filled with meaning; of a natural inheritance that affects us all.

‘Tell them. Tell them what is happening on the land. Someone has to tell them…

When I was young there was cowslips and ragged robin everywhere, and butterflies on the thyme in the rocky crags on the fell. The becks were full of minnows, the pools alive with them, and water boatmen skating on the top…

I’m maybe old and stupid, but I like to see them things. But you don’t see them anymore. And greed is to blame. Greed. And it will get worse if they don’t change things.

Tell them.’





Publication Date:

2020 September