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Copenhagen, Denmark
Loch Ness, Scotland
  • Location: Yorkshire

Common Ground

Common Ground

Why a Booktrail?

Discover a journey from London to Yorkshire

  • ISBN: 978-0099592037
  • Genre: Nature/Landscape

What you need to know before your trail

After moving from London to a new home in Yorkshire, and about to become a father for the first time, Rob Cowen finds himself in unfamiliar territory. Disoriented, hemmed in by winter and yearning for open space, he ventures out to a nearby edge-land: a pylon-slung tangle of wood, hedge, field, meadow and river that lies unclaimed and overlooked on the outskirts of town.

Travel Guide

Yorkshire discovered

Digging deeper into this lost landscape, he begins to uncover its many layers and lives – beast, bird, insect, plant and people – in kaleidoscopic detail. As the seasons change and the birth of his child draws closer, his transformative journey into the blurry space where human and nature meet becomes increasingly profound. In bringing this edge-land to life, Cowen offers both a both a unique portrait of people and place through time and an unforgettable exploration of the common ground we share with the natural world, the past and each other.

 Author Nuala Ellwood describes it thus:

“..when it comes to Yorkshire, it is Rob Cowen’s Common Ground that really brings the county to life, though just not in the way we would expect. For it is not the wild expanses of the Yorkshire Dales or the majestic sweep of hill country with breathtaking views that Cowen introduces here but the quiet, hidden corners that most people ignore. Writing the book after moving from London to Yorkshire and becoming a father, Cowen needed space to think and breathe and found that space in the edgeland near his home, the overgrown, netherworld that hangs in the void between town and countryside. The result of those rambles was a beautifully executed meditation on nature, life, parenthood and its inextricable ties to the natural world of changing seasons, growth and cycles. For me, Common Ground, though as quiet and unassuming as the edgeland it depicts, is nature writing as its very best and a true love letter to Yorkshire.”

BookTrail Boarding Pass: Common Ground

Destination/location: Yorkshire Author/guide: Rob Cowen  Departure Time: 2000s

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