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Countrystride #87: TREES in the age of the Romantics which we journey into Romantic-era 19th century Lakeland to explore the roots of change in our relationship with trees. In the company of Dr Anna Burton, Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Derby, we embark on a heatwave-hued ramble through Lorton Vale to hillside-hugging Holme Wood above sparkling Loweswater. As we walk, we learn about the historic shift that gave woodland an aesthetic value; we discuss the great northern forests that Wordsworth lamented as lost to human hand; we hear about Wordsworth's love of – and talent for – tree planting, and the role he played in planning Holme Wood; and we consider how the tension between economics and amenity is still being played out in the wooded landscapes of Cumbria today.

Lorton Vale from above Holme Wood.

Our start and end point for the day: Kirkstile Inn.

Across the meadows under perfect blue skies.

A favourite of Coleridge – and both of our guests: the Rowan.


Low Fell beyond Holme Wood.

Lovely Lorton Vale.

Arriving at Loweswater.

Mark and Anna.


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