Field Work (Hardback)

What Land Does to People & What People Do to Land

Bella Bathurst

What does it take to make a living from the land in modern Britain?

A Telegraph Summer Read

'A priceless portrait of one of the least understood and frequently most vilified of people: farmers. It should really be read by all in this country who buys food - i.e. everyone.' Daily Mail


'Highly researched and deeply thoughtful ... Bathurst peers under the bonnet of these lives and reveals things that rarely make it into print.' James Rebanks, The Times

'A fine achievement: describing the indescribable' Rosamund Young, author of The Secret Life of Cows

For many of us, Britain is countryside - drystone walls, stiles, sheep on a distant hillside. But farmers themselves often remain a mystery: familiar but unpredictable, a secretive industry still visible from space. Who are these people who shape our countryside and put food on our tables? And what does it take to pull a life out of earth?

From fruit farmers to fallen stock operators, from grassy uplands to polytunnels, Bella Bathurst journeys through Britain to talk to those on the far side of the fence. As farmers find themselves torn between time-honoured methods and modern appetites, these shocking, raw, wise and funny accounts will open out a way of life now changing beyond recognition.

Publication date: 29/04/2021

£16.99

ISBN: 9781788162135

Imprint: Profile Books

Subject: History & Classics, Travel & Nature

Field Work (Ebook)

What Land Does to People & What People Do to Land

Bella Bathurst

What does it take to make a living from the land in modern Britain?

A Telegraph Summer Read

'A priceless portrait of one of the least understood and frequently most vilified of people: farmers. It should really be read by all in this country who buys food - i.e. everyone.' Daily Mail


'Highly researched and deeply thoughtful ... Bathurst peers under the bonnet of these lives and reveals things that rarely make it into print.' James Rebanks, The Times

'A fine achievement: describing the indescribable' Rosamund Young, author of The Secret Life of Cows

For many of us, Britain is countryside - drystone walls, stiles, sheep on a distant hillside. But farmers themselves often remain a mystery: familiar but unpredictable, a secretive industry still visible from space. Who are these people who shape our countryside and put food on our tables? And what does it take to pull a life out of earth?

From fruit farmers to fallen stock operators, from grassy uplands to polytunnels, Bella Bathurst journeys through Britain to talk to those on the far side of the fence. As farmers find themselves torn between time-honoured methods and modern appetites, these shocking, raw, wise and funny accounts will open out a way of life now changing beyond recognition.

Publication date: 29/04/2021

£12.99

ISBN: 9781782835318

ISBN 10 / ASIN: B083JM45Z5

Imprint: Profile Books

Subject: History & Classics, Travel & Nature

Reviews for Field Work

'Highly researched and deeply thoughtful ... Bathurst peers under the bonnet of these lives and reveals things that rarely make it into print. She has a talent for asking the right questions ... Field Work is by turns funny, enlightening, frustrating and deeply sad.'

James Rebanks The Times

'A beautiful hybrid of social history, memoir and nature writing, Field Work manages to bring an entire world out of the shadows. ... Bathurst shows us how interesting all life is if viewed with the correct mixture of sympathy and curiosity'

Alex Preston Observer

'A genuine attempt to get under the fingernails of the people who work in land-based industries and understand why they carry on doing what they do, usually for little financial reward, often in great discomfort and in the face of adversity. And it is a distinguished work of journalism by someone who asks the questions that the reader wants asked [and] sifts the answers perceptively ... This thought-provoking book portrays, with uncomfortable accuracy, life on the green bits beyond the 30-mile limits of Britain's towns'

Jamie Blackett Telegraph

'A vivid portrait of a fast-changing world'

 Telegraph Summer Reads

'A priceless portrait of one of the least understood and frequently most vilified of people: farmers. It should really be read by all in this country who buys food - i.e. everyone. If anyone wants to understand farming better, I would press this book into their hands ... The writing is at once tough and lyrical, unsentimental, piercingly truthful and observant ... heart-wrenching as well as dryly funny ... Field Work is a superb testament to that way of life, and richly demonstrates what a terrible loss that would be - for all of us.'

Book of the Week Daily Mail

'A fine achievement: describing the indescribable'

Rosamund Young, author of The Secret Life of Cows 

'Exactly the book I've been longing to read about farming. A proper behind-the-scenes look, fascinating, insightful, compassionate.'

Melissa Harrison, author of All Among the Barley and The Light of Stubborn Things 

'A long overdue account of the true nature of farming - written from the ground up. Bella Bathurst really gets under the skin of what it means to farm the land in the 21st century, at a time of unprecedented change.'

Stephen Moss, naturalist and author of Skylarks with Rosie 

Bella Bathurst

Bella Bathurst

Bella Bathurst is a writer and photojournalist. Her books include The Lighthouse Stevensons which won the 1999 Somerset Maugham Award, The Wreckers, which became a BBC Timewatch documentary, and The Bicycle Book, which was shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year 2011.