Rivers and streams occupy a fundamental place within the British landscape. They are central and focal features of the natural landscape, helping to shape the very landforms of the country, as well as providing a range of habitats for flora and fauna. Few places in Britain are far from running water, and human society interacts with rivers in a wide range of ways. Most towns and cities grew up on riverbanks, and rivers play a vital role in economic, social and cultural life. They have provided power for industry; water for industrial use and human consumption; rivers have often been used for communication and the transport of goods; and they are sites of leisure and recreation. Most people are attracted to water; and rivers have featured prominently in literature and art over the centuries. Rivers can also pose threats, from flooding or pollution, and therefore have to be managed and regulated.
Whereas there are many books which deal with specific aspects of rivers, "Rivers and the British Landscape" provides the first fully integrated analysis of British rivers exploring the physical formation of rivers; the characteristics of environments; analysis of the social, economic and cultural uses and associations of rivers; and examination of the problems of river management. These themes are explored through historical and contemporary examples, with case studies drawn from all parts of Britain. The book is lavishly illustrated and includes an appendix of key facts about British rivers. Written by experts on each aspect of British rivers, "Rivers and the British Landscape" is aimed at anyone with a general interest in rivers and the British landscape. The authors aim to highlight the holistic nature of river environments, and to explore the ways in which physical, economic, cultural and management characteristics interact to create the distinctive personalities of British rivers. It is hoped that material in this volume may help you to view your local river in a new light.