The people's mountain
- Ed Douglas and John Beatty
- Paperback (192pp)
- 22 Mar 2018
Shortlisted for the 2018 Boardman Tasker Award for Mountain Literature
'An exceptional book. The writing is rich with original research, the photographs glitter with strangeness and beauty, and the whole book rings with the passion, knowledge and vision of two people who have explored their subject for most of their lives, and fallen into profound acquaintance with it.' – Robert Macfarlane, author of The Lost Words and Mountains of the Mind
'Kinder – even the word has an echo-like quality. And this is a book of beautiful echoes in which words and pictures call to each other back and forth across the pages. Simple waymarkers such as moss, grouse, flight open up a spacious meditation that takes in history, adventure, memory and the necessity of beauty. The echoes build as we pass through the phases of the book, creating a vivid and moving iconography of the character and temper of this ‘half-poisoned, denuded and yet still-sacred ground’. – Katharine Towers, award-winning poet and author of The Remedies and The Floating Man
‘We made Kinder Scout, not just metaphorically, or metaphysically, not just with our stories and our battles, but literally changed its shape, from the peat washing off its summit, to the drystone walls that turn the hillside into a harmonious grid, the trees that are and more often aren’t there, to the creatures that we’ve allowed to remain and those we’ve done away with. It’s our mountain.’
In 1951 the Peak District was designated the UK’s first national park: a commitment to protect and preserve our countryside and wild places. Sandwiched between Manchester and Sheffield, and sitting at the base of the Pennines, it is home to Kinder Scout, Britain’s most popular ‘mountain’, a beautiful yet featureless and disorientating plateau which barely scrapes the 600-metre contour, whose lower slopes bore witness in 1932 to a movement of feet, a pedestrian rebellion, which helped shape modern access legislation: the Kinder Mass Trespass.
But Kinder Scout’s story is about much more than the working class taking on the elite. Marked by the passage of millions of feet and centuries of farming, a graveyard for lost souls and doomed aircraft, this much-loved mountain is a sacred canvas on which mankind has scratched and scraped its likeness for millennia. It is a record of our social and political history, of conflict and community.
Writer Ed Douglas and photographer John Beatty are close friends and have a shared history with Kinder going back decades. In this unique collaboration they reveal the social, political, cultural and ecological developments that have shaped the physical and human landscape of this enigmatic and treasured hill.
Kinder Scout: The People’s Mountain is a celebration of a northern English mountain and our role in its creation.
Born in 1966, Ed Douglas began walking and climbing in the Peak District as a boy. Since then he has travelled to mountain regions all over the world, particularly the Himalaya, reporting on stories as diverse as the occupation of Tibet and climate change, as well as to climb in the mountains. He is an award-winning author of eleven books about mountains and their people, including Rock Athlete, the memoirs of rock climber Ron Fawcett, which won the Boardman Tasker Award for Mountain Literature in 2010, and his most recent work, a collection of eight essays titled The Magician’s Glass. A contributor to The Guardian for over twenty-five years, he writes a column for the paper’s Country Diary. He lives in Sheffield with his wife Kate, a science editor.
John Beatty is outstanding among contemporary British nature, travel and adventure photographers, his international reputation securely based on a vast portfolio of extraordinary images from around the world that celebrate the beauty, variety and magnificence of landscape and nature. John shoots for a range of national international commercial clients and his work appears frequently in British and international media. His books include The Pure Land: A Celebration of Wild Places, Sula: Seabird Hunters of Lewis, and Wild Vision. Passionate about wilderness experience and its value, he publishes the annual Wild Nature Diary for the John Muir Trust, the leading wild land conservation charity in the UK. John has lived in Bamford, in the heart of the Derbyshire Peak District, for thirty years with his wife Jan and two children. He walks and cycles every day among his home moors when he’s not travelling more distant parts of the globe.
- Title: Kinder Scout
- Subtitle: The people's mountain
- Authors: Ed Douglas and John Beatty
- Imprint: Vertebrate Publishing
- ISBN: 978-1-911342-50-2
- Rights: Worldwide
- Publication date: 22 March 2018
- Edition: First
- Size: 219mm x 276mm
- Extent: 192 pages, full colour throughout
- Cover: Hardback (special edition); Paperback (trade edition)
- Weight: 1,250g (hardback); 930g (paperback)
- Retail price: £30 (special edition); £19.95 (paperback/trade edition)
An exceptional book. The writing is rich with original research, the photographs glitter with strangeness and beauty, and the whole book rings with the passion, knowledge and vision of two people who have explored their subject for most of their lives, and fallen into profound acquaintance with it. – Robert Macfarlane, author of The Lost Words and Mountains of the Mind
Kinder – even the word has an echo-like quality. And this is a book of beautiful echoes in which words and pictures call to each other back and forth across the pages. Simple waymarkers such as moss, grouse, flight open up a spacious meditation that takes in history, adventure, memory and the necessity of beauty. The echoes build as we pass through the phases of the book, creating a vivid and moving iconography of the character and temper of this ‘half-poisoned, denuded and yet still-sacred ground. – Katharine Towers, award-winning poet and author of The Remedies and The Floating Man
Everyone who loves the Peak District should have this book and help to work for its ultimate redemption. We will win! – Mark Avery
Quietly astonishing and important piece of work. – David Lintern, the Great Outdoors
Douglas tells the story in his fine poetic style, "pacing out time’s shore" while walking its northern rim, or when squatting on the summit "dismantled by wind and rain, grains of sand washed away, and me with them, pretty soon". – Jules Stewart, Geographical
The beauty of the book is it will strike different chords with different people in different ways. Like all books, once read, it will sit on the shelf, but like the best of books will not gather dust but be taken down so we can read once more ... – Macc and the Art
This is one of the most stand out books you will ever see. You will come to appreciate one of our most most iconic landscapes, its people, its seasons and beauty. This is achieved though it's delightful, thoughtful and well researched commentary combined with enchanting imagery. In a phrase it's a "Classic". - Mansel Kersey, The Snow Leopard Award