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Guy Cookson

The relationship between the natural environment and people from country to country really is fascinating. I think in many ways in Britain we are at the extreme end of the spectrum in the sense that we have a dense population, advanced communications, a comprehensive (if not entirely fit for purpose) transport network, and, despite frequent declarations of love for the environment, a propensity to micro-manage and catalogue every last inch of 'wilderness' left.

Reading older novels you get the sense that outside of major towns there remained the unknown, where especially at night there were very real dangers in the fields beyond, where beasts still roamed and the elements could be fatal. In many parts of the world this is still the case today. Sometimes I wish we too could experience more of life away from the amber glow of A-roads and manicured footpaths. Having said all that, I'm grateful that the chances of being ravaged by a rabid wolf on a frostbitten mountain are fairly low these days.

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