Coronary heart disease

Coronary heart disease is a major killing disease in the West. In Britain it is responsible for the death of two out of five men in middle age and a total in excess of 100,000 annually. Men are more susceptible to the disease than women who appear to be protected at least until the menopause. … Read more

Eating and ill health

Undernutrition, starvation and famine still prevails in many countries. Threequarters of the people in the world rely on locally produced cereal staples to supply most of their dietary energy. In any country where more than twothirds of the dietary energy comes from cereals one can expect malnutrition to be prevalent, because cereals cannot supply all … Read more

The energy balance

We remain at constant body weight only if we achieve a balance between energy intake and energy output. Energy intake results from the ingestion of food, there is no other route for energy absorption. Energy output is achieved through a variety of mechanisms. Everyone who is alive, whether asleep or even unconscious, is using energy … Read more

Deficiencies in the West

Nutritional deficiencies are rare in Britain although some cases of anaemia due to deficiencies of iron, vitamin B12 or folic acid are reported. Without sufficient iron the body cannot make enough haemoglobin. Vitamin B12 and folate deficiencies give rise to kinds of anaemia in which there are large blood cells and a low concentration of … Read more


Man has always craved for sweetness but it is only within this century that the vast quantities of sugar now consumed have become available. Sugarbeet and cane are grown specially lor sugar production. Consumption now runs at an average of one kilogramme (two pounds) per head per week in Britain. Granulated white sugar is a … Read more

Eggs, chocolate and cheese

Eggs have always been considered extremely nutritious because they contain all the nutrients necessary for the growth of the young chick. Recent research into coronary heart disease has revealed that not only saturated fats, but also a fatlike substance called cholesterol which is concen trated in egg yolks, may contribute to the disease. Some doctors … Read more


Margarine was invented in 1869 by a French chemist, who used suet to produce a cheap type of fat to supply the soldiers in the FrancoPrussian War. The Dutch invented a method of adding hydrogen to the unsaturated vegetable oils thus causing them to solidify. It has taken considerable research to develop the modern product. … Read more


For many centuries white bread was regarded as an expensive luxury food, owing to the low yield of flour after the removal of bran and wheat germ during milling. Wholemeal and bran breads were eaten by poor people. Several factors contributed to the increased availability of flour, that made white bread available to the whole … Read more

Modern foods

There is nothing new about man’s need to preserve food for storage or convenience of preparation. Sundrying, salting, pickling and smoking are methods which have been used for centuries and are still used today. Recent advances in technology have made it possible to preserve food by decreasing the risk of microbiological spoilage with less loss … Read more

Vegetarianism and health foods

In 1813 the poet, Shelley, published a thesis suggesting that man’s digestive system was designed to break down only plant foods. The dramatist, George Bernard Shaw, abstained from meat eating after the age of twentyfive and lived for a further sixtynine years. Leo Tolstoy conformed to his new religion which also did not allow the … Read more


In a recent survey, ninetynine percent of the people questioned had heard of vitamins. Nowadays we hear a great deal about vitamins as there is hardly one which does not have a controversial aspect. Many of the vitamin requirements were established decades ago but claims are now being made for large doses of vitamins which … Read more

Food cults and customs

Food beliefs and taboos have played a much larger part in the evolution of man’s food habits than nutritional considerations. Although the traditional diet had to be of sound composition for the tribe to survive, some prejudices or religious beliefs have little basis in fact or logic whilst others can be verified scientifically. Whether right … Read more

World wide foods

Although food habits and customs differ widely throughout the world, man’s requirements for health vary little between the different races. Everyone needs an abundant source of energy, and a starchy food called a staple usually dominates the eating of any particular culture. Starches have to be cooked to be digested so staples are prepared in … Read more

Feeding an expanding population

Population growth by the middle of the nineteenth century had outstripped the increased production of food and the food laws, banning the import of food had to be repealed. Food production and distribution methods lagged behind the new lifestyle imposed by the Industrial Revolution. The country people sent much of their food to the overcrowded … Read more


The major constituent of our bodies is water, and we need plenty of water passing through our systems to keep us healthy. Man can only survive a few days without water whereas he can last for months without food. Tap water also supplies minerals and trace elements. Coronary heart disease is less prevalent in hard … Read more

Food through the ages

We evolved from animal ancestors who searched the countryside and survived by gathering plants or berries and hunting small animals or fish. Man lived a cave dwelling or nomadic existence for many millions of years. The discovery of fire made an enormous impact on this way of life and the discovery of cooking meant that … Read more

The science of food and man

The famous French gastronome Brillat Savarin said, “Tell me what a man eats and I will tell you what he is.” We rely on other biological systems to provide us with complex molecules which we break down by digestion and rebuild into the bodily material we call ourselves. The body’s primary need is for energy. … Read more

Why do people starve?

Much of this century has been spent applying all this new knowledge to alleviating the problems of deficiency diseases, and undernutrition. It is an indictment of the age we live in that these problems have not been solved – although in defence of nutrition, it must be admitted the practical difficulties are far reaching and … Read more

Protein and amino acids

While the biochemists were exploring the vitamins, the physiologists were busy investigating the needs of the whole animal. Nearly two centuries ago the first measurements of the energy expenditure of animals were made, by enclosing them in an insulated chamber and observing the amount of ice melted by heat from their bodies. Lavoisier also measured … Read more

Discovering nutrition

The twentieth century is living under the impact of the biological revolution which began a hundred and fifty years ago, when men like Darwin, Wallace, Mendel and Pasteur began to publish their observations on the living world. Their work caused a vast expansion in man’s appreciation of a wide range of biological concepts and systems. … Read more

Hopetoun House Nature Trail

Hopetoun House Preservation Trust, Estates Office, South Queensferry, West Lothian, EH30 9SL On unclassified road 1 mile north of A904 2 miles west of Forth Road Bridge approach roundabout Map reference: NT089 2-mile trail in wooded and estuary shore grounds of 18th-century mansion-fallow deer and rare black St Kilda sheep Illustrated trail brochure; free park … Read more

Torrance House Nature Trail

East Kilbride District Council, Civic Centre, East Kilbride, G74 1AB 2 miles south of East Kilbride centre on the A726 to Strathaven Map reference: NS655 Approx 1-mile nature trail in wooded river valley in the grounds of 17 th-century mansion Four illustrated brochures -one for each season; car park Although East Kilbride is one of … Read more

Island of Bute Natural History Trails

The Buteshire Natural History Society, The Museum, Stuart Street, Rothesay, Bute Bute is reached by regular vehicle ferry services Wemyss Bay – Rothesay and Colintraive – Rhubodach Map references: Bull Loch Trail NS026 South end of Bute Trail 5 NS106 Two of 7 trails around the island prepared by local natural historians: inland Bull Loch … Read more

Arbroath Cliffs Nature Trail

The Scottish Wildlife Trust, Dundee and Angus Branch, The Secretary, 2 Castle Street, Forfar Trail starts at St Ninian’s Well at the east end of Arbroath sea front promenade Map reference: N0659 3-mile clifftop footpath walk with one avoidable steep section exploring cliff and rock flora and sea birds Illustrated trail brochure from Trust or … Read more

Glamis Castle Nature Trail

Strathmore Estates Ltd, Estates Office, Glamis, Angus, DD8 IRQ Off A928 4 miles south of Kirriemuir close to junction with A94 at village of Glamis Map reference: N0387 1-mile trail viewing superb mature trees and parkland wildlife in grounds of historic castle—good access for disabled visitors Illustrated trail guide; car park; tours of castle Probably … Read more

Glencoe Forest Trails

Forestry Commission, Forest Office, Glenachulish, Argyll Trails centred on Glencoe village on A82 Tyndrum-Kinlochleven road Map references: Signal Rock Trail NN129565 Lochan Forest Trail NN099 Two trails in small woodlands at mouth of historic Glencoe: Signal Rock Trail-about 1J miles; Lochan Trail-about 2 miles Illustrated trail booklet; car parks; visitor centres; cafes in village Nestled … Read more

Glen More and Loch an Eilein Nature Trails

Glen More Forest Trails, Forestry Commission, Glen More Information Centre, Aviemore, Highland Glen More Trail On ski road off B970 (at Coylumbridge) 6 miles east of Aviemore Map reference: NH974 Three trails displaying both modern forestry techniques and natural Cairngorm flora and fauna: Shore Trail – U miles; River trail – 3 miles; Pinewood Trail … Read more

Sutton Bank Trail

Yorkshire Naturalists’ Trust, 20 Castlegate, York, Yol 1RP At Cooper Cross car park on A170 between Thirsk (5j miles) and Helmsley (6 miles) Map reference: SE515 2-mile trail down and around limestone cliffs and woodland Nature Reserve -some steep scrambling, so wear sturdy shoes Illustrated trail brochure from Trust, tourist and National Park offices; car … Read more

Christchurch Forest Trail

The Forestry Commission, Crown Offices, Coleford, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire Off B4228 mile north of junction with A4136 at Lower Berry Hill -signposted to campsites Map reference: S0568 21-mile trail through ancient and modern afforestation of deciduous and coniferous trees-passes mine-workings, charcoal hearth and woodpecker haunts Illustrated trail brochure; car park; campsites; well-stocked food shop; … Read more

Oxwich National Nature Reserve

Nature Conservancy Council, Oxwich Reserve Centre, Oxwich, Swansea, SA3 1LS 11 miles the A4118 on unclassified road 11 miles west of Swansea -signposted Oxwich Map reference: SS502 Two trails in small coastal National Nature Reserve: Sand Dunes Trail -1-mile walk illustrating dune erosion and deposition; Woodland Walk – 3-mile walk through cliffside woodland and pasture … Read more

Gower Nature Trails

The Gower is a leisure paradise for the industrial towns of South Wales and its many beaches are often crowded in high season and at weekends. Swansea is the gateway to Gower, a busy city at the mouth of the Tawe or Swansea Valley. It was the world centre of the non-ferrous metal industry for … Read more

Skomer Island Nature Trail

West Wales Naturalists’ Trust, 7 Market Street, Haverfordwest, Dyfed Reached by boat (April-October) from Martin’s Haven 2 miles past Marloes village on unclassified road off B4327. Also boats from Dale. Sailing details from The Information Officer, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, County Offices, Haverfordwest, Dyfed, SA61 1QZ Map references: Martin’s Haven SM760092 Skomer North Haven SM735 … Read more

Cwmrheidol Nature Trail

Central Electricity Generating Board, Rheidol Power Station, Capel Bangor, Aberystwyth, Dyfed On unclassified road 3 miles off A44 at Capel Bangor-signposted Cwmrheidol. Also access from Aberffrwd Halt on Vale of Rheidol Light Railway (BR, Aberystwyth -Devil’s Bridge). Trail starts at CEGB visitor centre Map reference: SN697 2j–mile trail around a river valley dammed for a … Read more

Penrhos Nature Reserve Trail

On A5 2 miles east of Holyhead at west end of Stanley Embankment Map reference: SH275 2J-mile trail around coastal headland Nature Reserve – large sea bird population Trail brochures and illustrated sign boards on trail; car park; picnic area; tea cabin; exhibition; bird and animal hospital; good facilities for disabled Anglesey Aluminium Metal Ltd, … Read more

Snowdonia: Miners’Track and Cwm Idwal Trails

Nature Conservancy Council, PenrhosRoad, Bangor, Gwynedd LL57 2LQ The Miners’ Track On A4086 in Llanberis Pass 1 mile from junction with A498 (Pen y Gwryd Hotel) Map reference: SH648 3-mile section of public footpath leading to Snowdon summit through glacial valley with lakes, mineral workings and rock and bog vegetation Car park (often crowded, early … Read more

Snowdonia Nature Trails

Snowdonia is a vast outdoor pursuits park which can provide pony-trekking, canoeing, fishing, orienteering, rock-climbing and even sailing to visitors. It is a land for the sightseer. There are three little train lines in the northern part of the National Park and one runs on Snowdon itself. The Mountain Railway has a track from Llanberis … Read more

Macclesfield Nature Trail

The trail begins through the gardens to the left of the hall, built in 1722 close to a stand of lime trees which produce a pale, hard wood, once used to carve the intricate printing blocks used in Macclesfield’s silk industry. You will. Also see the hall’s chapel, still in use, which was once thought … Read more

Slurring Rock NatureTrail

Metropolitan Borough of Calder, Information Centre, 1 Bridge Gate, Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, HX7 8JP On unclassified road off A6033 li miles north of Hebden Bridge centre — signposted Hardcastle Crags Map reference: SD997 Approximately 2-mile trail along valley of Hebden Water, woodlands and rock escarpment – beautiful aspects compared to Switzerland by Swiss visitors … Read more

Reginald Farrer Trail

Yorkshire Dales National Park Centre, Clapham, North Yorkshire Trail starts at National Park Centre in village of Clapham on A65 between Settle (6 miles) and Kendal (23 miles) Map reference: SD745 4-41-mile trail illustrating social, historical and geological impact on a limestone landscape. National Park Centre open Easter-early November (mid-morning-late afternoon) Illustrated trail brochure; car … Read more

Smithy Beck and Dodd Wood Trails

Forestry Commission, Helvellyn Street, Keswick, Cumbria Smithy Beck Forest Trail At end of unclassified road through hamlet of Croasdale 2 miles north east of Ennerdale Bridge at Bowness Knott carpark Map reference: NY108155 (Bowness Knott car park) Approx 2i-mile trail through Ennerdale Forest with spectacular lakeland views. Some steep sections Dodd Wood Forest Trail On … Read more

May Beck Trail

North York Moors National Park, The Old Vicarage, Bondgate, Helmsley, Y06 5BP H miles off B1416 on unclassified road between Ruswarp and junction with A Map reference: NZ892 4-mile trail around a moor farm, open moorland and a conifer plantation-shows the hard life of the moor farmer and the harmony of forestry, game and farming … Read more

Gibraltar Point Nature Reserve

Lincolnshire and South Humberside Trust for Nature Conservation, Gibraltar Point, Skegness, Lincolnshire (and at Manor House, Alford, Lincolnshire) At end of Gibraltar Road, 3 miles south of Skegness town centre Map reference: TF555 1-mile long Reserve with marked paths which can be followed at will – principal features are the duneland and saltmarsh environments Very … Read more

Clumber Park Nature Walks

The National Trust, Clumber Park, Worksop, Nottinghamshire, S80 3 BE 3 miles south east of Worksop off B6005 – signposted Carburton and Clumber Park Map reference: SK626 Two walks of 3 miles and 1 mile showing conservation and restoration of a Capability Brown landscape in a former ducal hunting park – park open all year … Read more

Ordnance Survey map references

As many of the trails featured in this selection have information or starting points that are off the beaten track, the full Ordnance Survey map reference for the access point is given in the trail data panel. A full Ordnance Survey reference consists of a two-letter code (example: SU) placing the reference within a particular … Read more

Coombe Valley Nature Trail

Cornwall Naturalists’ Trust, Malcolm S Henchley, Ferrers, Stamford Hill, Bude, Cornwall Off A39 unclassified road near to the hamlet of Coombe about 5 miles north of Bude Map reference SS210 li-mile trail through wooded valley close to sea – easy to negotiate for young families Illustrated trail brochure from Trust and local tourism offices; small … Read more

Cardinham Woods Trails

Forestry Commission, Dunmere, Bodmin, Cornwall 2 miles east of Bodmin off unclassified road at Turfdown 3 mile from A Map reference: SX099 Four trails with themes: Riverside Walk – H miles; Bluebell Walk – 2-mile extension of Riverside Walk taking in bluebell glades; Panorama Walk – miles (also connected to Bluebell Walk) with some steep … Read more

Salcombe Hill Trail, Sidmouth

The Devon Trust for Nature Conservation, 2 Pennsylvania Road, Exeter li miles off A3052 through Salcombe Regis or I mile east of Sidmouth on unclassified road to Salcombe Regis Map Reference: SY139 4i-mile circuit of public footpaths crossing 500ft Salcombe Hill through trees and heath with beautiful sea views Information boards; illustrated brochure from local … Read more

Dunsford Nature Reserve

The Devon Trust for Nature Conservation, 2 Pennsylvania Road, Exeter On B3212 south west of Dunsford village and 9 miles from Exeter Map reference: SX805 2-mile long Reserve with bridle path, Fisherman’s Path, and Daffodil Walk in wooded river valley Information board at trail entrances; illustrated brochure from tourist information caravan on B3212 (about 250 … Read more

Kennet and Avon Canal Walk

Department of Leisure and Tourist Service, Bath City Council, The Pump Room, Stall Street, Bath From station go under railway and over the Avon – turn left into Claverton Street and left again. The first canal lock is off Spring Gardens Road Map reference: ST755 2-mile urban and suburban canal walk with features of both … Read more

Bolderwood Forest Walks

Forestry Commission, The Queen’s House, Lyndhurst, Hampshire S04 7NH On unclassified road 1 mile south east off A31 Southampton-Ringwood road, 61 miles north east of Ringwood Map reference: SZ243 Three walks through a central New Forest highland among mature trees: Radnor Walk-j mile; Arboretum Walk- li miles; Mark Ash Walk-3 Smiles Trail notes or full … Read more