Five words from the blurb: Lake District, forest, joys, deer, friendship
The Shining Levels is a beautiful book about the joys of the English countryside. It is an autobiographical account of John Wyatt’s move to a small stone hut in the Lake District, where he lives without many home comforts. He often takes things further by staying in a basic shelter in the woods; eating what he can find around him. His enthusiasm for the flora and fauna is infectious and it makes me want to walk through a wood looking for the wildlife he mentions.
Wyatt has a particular passion for trees and he explains everything from what each species tastes like, to the recipe for the perfect fire:
There is also a fascinating account of what happens when he agrees to look after a baby roe deer. The relationship that builds between the two is wonderful and I highly recommend this book for that aspect alone.
On top of the detailed, vivid descriptions of wildlife we also glimpse what life was like in 1970s Cumbria. There is a wonderful range of local characters and many amusing anecdotes.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading about nature, especially those with a connection to the Lake District.
Many thanks to David, a regular commenter, for recommending this book to me.