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Lake District Mountain Landforms -
by Peter Wilson
Published by Scotforth
The 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
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