A sense of place

18th April 1997 at 01:00
CLASSIC LANDFORMS GUIDES Sussex Coast. By Rodney Castleden North Devon Coast. By Peter Keene Lake District. By John Boardman Geographical Association Pounds 8.95 (Pounds 6 GA members)

The Geographical Association's Landforms Guides have always been essential background for fieldwork in particular locations, but the first editions were becoming out of date. So it's good to see that three titles have been revised and reprinted and that new guides for Dorset and Snowdonia are in preparation.

The new editions are excellent, with colour photographs, small ordnance survey map extracts and in some places, revised and extended details about particular locations. Maps and diagrams are also greatly improved. My only disappointment is that not every photograph is in colour and that there are still some examples in the Sussex Coast volume without photographs.

Each book deals with between five and 10 localities, explaining in detail how recent research might lead us to a better understanding of the formation of the landscape. Detailed accounts, including specific grid references on each location, are intended to be worked through in the field.

Although the books deal with specialist ideas of interest to geomorphologists, they should appeal to schools, college and universities, as well as the public. They provide superbly detailed discussions of places around which fieldwork visits could be structured by the teacher or lecturer. Alternatively, they also provide detailed background material for students studying particular locations second-hand.

When I first came across this series over 10 years ago, I was amazed how simplified or even incorrect some of the textbook accounts of landforms were. The great advantage of these books is that they bring together authoritative evidence from a wide range of publications. I hope the Geographical Association continues to revise and extend this extremely worthwhile series of guides.

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