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James Rebanks’s grandfather taught him to work the land the old way.
Their family farm in the Lake District was part of an ancient landscape: a patchwork of crops and meadows, of pastures grazed with livestock, hedgerows teeming with wildlife.
When James inherited the farm, it was barely recognisable – labourers vanished from the fields, stone barns had crumbled and the skies emptied of birds.
English Pastoral tells of how the countryside has been brought close to collapse.
Yet this elegy is also a song of hope and how a farmer salvaged a legacy.
James Rebanks image © Eamonn McCabe