The Quantock Hills form one of the most precious landscapes in England. Rolling farmland, woods and attractive villages, give way to open hilltops and moorland in this richly diverse patchwork.
To many it will still seem a remote place. Yet the pace of change in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries has led to huge pressures, not only on the scenery of the Quantocks but on the culture of the people who live and work there and so largely determine its character. Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty status granted in 1957 (making the Quantocks the first AONB in England) has helped significantly to protect and preserve the Hills, but the way of life here is still a fragile one.
Acclaimed photographer Gary Penny, who lives in the heart of the Quantock Hills, has spent years recording the people of the area and how they interact with the landscape, latterly as Photographer in Residence with the Quantock Hills AONB. His lens ranges widely from church to hunt, village fete to village pub, the hard life of the farmer to the whole range of country pursuits that define for so many the true spirit of the hills. His camera lingers not only on the face of the land but on the faces of the people.
The Quantocks On English Hills is a unique social document that records in photographs of frankness but matchless beauty, one of the last truly distinctive corners of the country.
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