“Headwaters” – a book by BCNS member Phil Clayton

Phil Clayton's book "Headwaters"

Phil Clayton’s book “Headwaters”

To cross that same river again, knowing you have seen it at source, is like sharing a secret with an old friend.”

BCN Society Vice-President, giver of talks and burger bar gopher, Phil Clayton, has written a book chronicling visits to the sources of more than 50 rivers in Great Britain.

Headwaters describes a series of walks ranging from long treks over Scottish mountains and through wilderness glens to afternoon strolls in pastoral English parkland, moorland marches to forest forays, with the occasional bit of urban exploration thrown in – there’s some interesting bits under the M6 at Bescot!

From Severn to Thames, Jordan to Piddle, the book covers the spectrum of sources from our longest and best known rivers to some of the shortest and most eccentric.

Locally (ie local to the West Midlands for our readers elsewhere), various sources of the Tame and Stour are tracked down and canals as various as the B.C.N., Middle Level Navigations and Thames & Severn get a mention.

There is more variety of landscape and scenery around our river sources than might at first be expected and they all have a tale to tell.

Having walked all the two thousand foot mountains in England and Wales at least three times, Phil often wondered why his feet were always getting wet and this provided the spark for researching and writing Headwaters. Three years in the making, this comprehensively illustrated book also draws on a rich range of literary sources to explore the geography, geology, etymology, history and folklore of these fundamental features of the British landscape.

Published by Francis Lincoln   £18.99 • Hardback • 978-0-7112-3363-8 • 245 x 192mm • 224pages . Over 300 maps, illustrations & colour photographs•