Of the six finalists for a new prize honoring the year's best nature and travel books, three titles are about walking, including the winner, Hugh Thomson's The Green Road Into the Trees: An Exploration of England.
Simon Armitage, Walking Home: A Poet's Journey. "In summer 2010 Armitage decided to walk the Pennine Way. The challenging 256-mile route is usually approached from south to north. He resolved to tackle it the other way round: through beautiful and bleak terrain, across lonely fells and into the howling wind, he would be walking home, towards the Yorkshire village where he was born.
Patrick Barkham, Badgerlands: The Twilight World of Britain's Most Enigmatic Animal. "The author of The Butterfly Isles turns his wry, affectionate attention to an even more beloved (and controversial) British animal – the badger."
Charlotte Higgins, Under Another Sky: Journeys in Roman Britain. "This book is about the encounter with Roman Britain. What does Roman Britain mean to us now? How were its physical remains rediscovered and made sense of? How has it been reimagined, in story and song and verse?"
Robert Macfarlane, The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot. "Robert Macfarlane sets off from his Cambridge home to follow the ancient tracks, holloways, drove-roads and sea paths that form part of a vast network of routes criss-crossing the British landscape and its waters, and connecting them to the continents beyond. The result is an immersive, enthralling exploration of the ghosts and voices that haunt old paths, of the stories our tracks keep and tell, of pilgrimage and ritual, and of songlines and their singers. "
Hugh Thomson, The Green Road Into the Trees: An Exploration of England. "From the very centre of England – literally, as his village is furthest from the sea – he travels to its outermost edges. By taking a 400 mile journey from coast to coast, through both the sacred and profane landscapes of ancient England, Hugh casts unexpected light – and humour – on the way we live now."
Esther Woolfson, Field Notes from a Hidden City: An Urban Nature Diary. "A beautifully written and thought-provoking record of a year spent observing the natural world in a city, which looks afresh at our relationship to the animals and plants that live in close proximity to us."