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Wonders all around... We certainly zip around the world in this issue of Geographical, from the fields of Lincolnshire, to the bustling port city of Essaouira in Morocco, and on to Trentino – the lush landscape long passed between Italy and Austria. But it is here in the UK that we start the journey, specifically on the banks of a small stream in Cornwall where an experiment is taking place – one that involves beavers. We had no concerns about referring to the ‘astonishing’ results of beaver reintroductions on our cover. As Jacob Dykes discovers on page 24, the impact these rodents have on their environment, and on ours, is indeed remarkable. By simply going about their business, they encourage the boggy marshes once common across our land. These landscapes play a hugely important role in flood defence.

Elsewhere on this island, we highlight a much more manicured landscape. On page 63 photographer Tessa Bunney travels to Spalding in Lincolnshire, where workers toil over the soil, not for crops, but for cut flowers. I am fascinated by the people and places that produce the goods we city-dwellers take for granted.

And then we are off. On page 40 we pay a visit to Morocco’s last grand taxi drivers – a trade gradually mutating as the government tries to fade out polluting diesel vehicles, against some people’s wishes. And, on page 50, Chris Fitch reports from the forests of Trentino, where some of the most precious trees on Earth (particularly for music lovers) are struggling in the face of vicious storms.

Plus, don’t forget that a subscription to Geographical or membership to the RGS-IBG makes a fantastic Christmas present for that tricky customer who has it all! Details for the latter on page 74. Katie Burton Editor


‘I became fascinated by the history of cut flower production in Lincolnshire, from the draining of the fenland in the 19th century through to the rise and demise of cut flower growing and bulb production in the Spalding area,’ says Tessa Bunney (page 63). ‘Along with Caroline Beck, in The Flower Fields, I explore how technology is changing how we grow flowers in this country.’


‘The River Ganges in India is a source of life and an object of veneration for hundreds of millions of Hindus, but at the same time it is abused by many of the same people who hold it in such high regard,’ says Stuart Butler (page 32). ‘Up and down the length of the river, small and dedicated groups of people are working against the odds to try and clean it. Hearing their stories was inspirational.’

‘The relationship between man and machine is fascinating to explore, especially in Morocco where old taxis, mostly transported to the country from their first homes in Europe, ooze soul,’ says John Silcox (page 40). ‘Hitching a ride across the country was more than a road trip: it revealed the mechanics of local culture, while delivering an important lesson on global life.’



July 2020 Volume 92 Issue 07 Publisher Graeme Gourlay

Editor Katie Burton Design Gordon Beckett Staff writer Jacob Dykes Subeditor Geordie Torr Operations director Simon Simmons Sales and marketing director Chloe Smith

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