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back to Book Reviews

Lake District Mountain Landforms - by Peter Wilson
ISBN: 9781904244561
Published by Scotforth Books


Lake District Mountain LandformsThe author, Peter Wilson, spent his formative years in Nelson, Lancashire (as did this reviewer), and is currently a lecturer in environmental science and geography at the University of Ulster. Peter and his wife, Frances, are members of the Society.

Lake District Mountain Landforms is concerned with the geomorphology of the Lake District, which the author defines as the study and appreciation of landforms, their origins and their age, including the processes such as glaciation responsible for their development. I was particularly taken by a photograph of Baffin Island in northern Canada, given to provide a reasonable representation of how the Lake District might have looked about 20,000 years ago as the ice-sheet began to wane. Peter Wilson explains that this book is not intended to be an academic text or a guide book, but aims to bridge the gap between the two by providing visitors to the Lake District, particularly those who go fellwalking, with explanations of how and when the landforms were created. In pitching the book thus, the author has succeeded admirably.

Although the book is filled with technical terms and explanations, the layout is essentially user-friendly, with each of the ten chapters broken down into numerous sub-sections, rarely more than a couple of pages in length. However, this is basically a coffee-table book, with at least a third of the 190 or so pages well illustrated with photographs and diagrams. It can equally be read sequentially from beginning to end, or dipped into.

This is a book for those who know the landscape of the Lake District well, allowing the reader to appreciate with a more educated eye the valleys, lakes and high ground on which he or she walks. Features such as glaciated valleys, cirques, drumlins, moraines, tors, blockfields and blockslopes are all explained and illustrated.

There is an enlightening chapter on the formation of rivers, lakes and tarns, including the interesting question of exactly how many tarns there are in Lakeland (220, 335 and 730 are all suggested by different sources).

Peter Wilson has provided a book which meets its claim to challenge Lake District enthusiasts to appreciate the landscape better, while still presenting its somewhat academic subject matter in an accessible format.

reviewed by Kevin Whalley - Member No. 743



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