Peter Wright's "Nature's Peace" is a lovely book which combines the author's well written and at times inspiring prose with an extensive collection of fine photographs taken by some of those who have followed his footsteps onto Scotland's Watershed. The book has two main themes. On the one hand it is a visual celebration of the wildest places in Scotland timed to help reflect the legacy and some of the writings of the great naturalist John Muir in the year of the centenary of his birth. On the other it offers a new and distinctive take on Scotland's Watershed.
Peter Wright is the father of Scotland's Watershed. This is the line which decides whether a drop of rain landing on Scotland ends up flowing west into the Atlantic Ocean or east into the North Sea, and it seems a contradiction to suggest that anyone can be accorded paternity of such a very natural feature. Nonetheless, it was Peter Wright who defined the watershed in its now generally accepted form in his 2010 book "Ribbon of Wildness: Discovering the Watershed of Scotland", which described a 1,200km walk he took along it in 2005. The nature of a watershed means this line is often at high level, running at an average elevation of over 500m, and reaching the summits of 44 Munros and 28 Corbetts, and it runs through many of the wildest places in Scotland (and Cumbernauld).
In 2012, Peter Wright's "Walking with Wildness" set out 26 walks intended to allow people not up for the entire walk to experience parts of the watershed, and in many ways the current book completes the picture, almost literally, by showing those who have yet to pull on their boots and venture forth what they are missing. We suspect that many will be inspired by the latest book to go out and explore some of the enormous variety of landscapes on offer along the watershed.
"Nature's Peace" also completes the picture in a second way. The inclusion of a walk on the Mainland of Orkney in "Walking with Wildness" was a strong hint that Peter Wright intended to extend his definition of Scotland's Watershed through the Northern Isles. He now does so in what he calls the "Viking March", taking in Orkney and Shetland (via Fair Isle), and concluding at Muckle Flugga. While this extension requires a boat almost as much as a pair of boots, it is a highly satisfactory way of rounding off the author's truly magnificent venture.