Shaping the Wild

Wisdom from a Welsh Hill Farm

Author(s) David Elias

Language: English

Genre(s): General, Welsh Interest

  • April 2023 · 232 pages ·216x135mm

  • · Hardback - 9781915279347
  • · eBook - pdf - 9781915279361
  • · eBook - epub - 9781915279378

About The Book

What can one Welsh hill farm tell us about how we can help nature thrive?

In this captivating debut, conservationist David Elias explores one a hill farm in Eryri (Snowdonia) National Park and what it can show us about the realities of farming and looking after nature in this environment. As he visits throughout the seasons, he forms a deep relationship with the land and the people who have worked upon it, discovering their history and traditions, current lifestyle and thoughts on their future. He also explores the many farm’s many habitats and the wildlife that can be found upon them and shows how this has been influenced by changing farming practices over the generations.

Through lyrical prose and first-hand conversations with farmers, Elias also shows what current policies have achieved – and not achieved – and why it’s so important that we get a better understanding of the realities and challenges of farming if we are to truly going to reconcile this vital industry while also looking after nature.


‘I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys nature and the outdoors, has an interest in farming and conservation, or any reader who revels in beautifully written prose. I would also recommend that any relevant politician or decision maker should read this book from cover to cover.’
Iolo Williams, broadcaster and conservationist

‘Shaping the Wild is a captivating masterpiece from which those on both sides of the gulf that sometimes divides farming and conservation can learn much.’
Nick Fenwick, Farmers’ Union of Wales

‘On the one hand, an extraordinary personal account of nature and its loss, where all the factors contributory to species’ decline are anthropogenic, on the other, a celebration of generations of commitment to landscape; both populated with contemporary facts and figures. It is a story written with love and respect but where our knowledge as to how to act effectively is still in its infancy. Yet, in the end, the author says, “Craig-y-tân has fed my soul.” Thank you, David, it fed mine too.’
Jane Davidson, author of #futuregen: Lessons from a Small Country

About the Author(s)

Author(s): David Elias

David Elias is a retired warden and lifelong conservation enthusiast, whose roles took him from Malawi to the Berwyn Mountains. This is his first book.

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