Robert Macfarlane is a writer whose books about the natural world, including The Wild Places and The Old Ways, have won many prizes and taken root in the best-seller charts.
He was born into a family of enthusiastic amateur climbers and his early memories include being carried up the Cairngorms on his father's back. This childhood experience led to a lifelong passion, and inspired his first book, Mountains of the Mind, about the complex human fascination with mountains.
His interest in the wider natural world also developed from a young age, and much of his writing focuses on the environments around us and how we relate to them. In The Wild Places, he travelled to marshes and moors, cliff-tops and beaches, in search of remaining areas of wilderness in the British Isles. In The Old Ways, he headed out on foot, following often ancient pathways through a range of landscapes, both in Britain and beyond.
His book The Lost Words, created with the artist Jackie Morris and published in 2017, became a phenomenon. It highlighted how words such as bluebell, conker, heron and kingfisher were disappearing from modern British childhoods. It's been adapted for performance and widely distributed in schools and care homes.
Robert is Director of Studies in English at Emmanuel College, Cambridge. He is married to Professor Julia Lovell and they have three children.
DISC ONE: Nature Boy by Nat King Cole
DISC TWO: The Ghost of O'Donahue by Johnny Flynn
DISC THREE: California Dreamin by The Mamas And The Papas
DISC FOUR: Birdhouse In Your Soul by They Might Be Giants
DISC FIVE: Blessing by The Lost Words
DISC SIX: Four Ethers by Serpentwithfeet
DISC SEVEN: The Swimming Song by Loudon Wainwright III
DISC EIGHT: Messiaen: Quartet for the End of Time (third movement) performed by Claude Desurmont (clarinet)
BOOK CHOICE: Collected works of Gerard Manley Hopkins
LUXURY ITEM: A chilli plant
CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: The Ghost of O'Donahue by Johnny Flynn
Presenter Lauren Laverne
Producer Sarah Taylor