The Shining Levels

The Shining Levels

The Shining Levels: the story of a man who went back to nature is a true story by John Wyatt (published Goeffrey Bles 1973).

In it he recounts his life as a forester on Cartmell Fell in the Southern Lake District in the early 1960s. John Wyatt b 1925 grew up in the Cheshire mill town of Ashton under Lyne. As a boy he visited the Lake district with the Cub Scouts and fell in love with the area. After working as a copy boy for the Daily Telegraph in Manchester he applies for the post of forest worker in the lakes and finds himself living a very simple life having to build his own stove, etc. He adopts a roe deer fawn who lives with him in his woodkeeper's hut. The book beautifully describes his growing bond with nature. The title "Shining Levels" describes moments of great beauty that he came across unexpectedly in his every day life.

John Wyatt eventually became Head Warden of the Lake District National Park. He died in 2006 and is buried in a Lake district wood with a Yew tree planted on his grave. The book inspired the band British Sea Power who almost named their first album after it.


* [,,1770521,00.html Guardian Obituary]

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