The Hills of Wales is a collection of Jim Perrin’s writings and essays taken from a number of years. They have been grouped together under the various geographical regions that he has walked around and written about. Even though the Welsh hills and mountains do not have the height of their Scottish or European compatriots, they still have a certain majesty to them, but these are still places that need to be treated with respect. Perrin has been walking these hills all his life, even living on them as a shepherd for a time, so knows them intimately. Walking and just being in these hills for him is akin to a spiritual experience for him.
It took me a short while to get into, but once I got the hang of his writing style, I found a man who is deeply besotted with the hills and valleys of his country. He is equally fascinated by the wildlife that populate these hills too, noting when he sees magnificent Red Kites, the smallest wrens, finding the pellets that the owls leave of the small mammals they’ve consumed. He weaves in quotes and poetry from Welsh and other authors throughout the book, chosen perfectly to reflect the mood and the landscape. His passion for the landscape, his landscape, means that when he sees it ruined by workmen, he rightly becomes quite cantankerous, blowing off steam in his prose and taking action by writing to the offending companies. Perrin is a fine author indeed and now I want to read the companion volume. Snowdon: the Story of a Welsh Mountain.