‘Divide – The Relationship Crisis Between Town and Country’

Published March 2022. Longlisted for the 2022 James Cropper Wainwright Prize for Conservation Writing. Available from Waterstones, WH Smith, Blackwells, Foyles and Amazon. You can also order a copy through your local independent bookshop.

Wainwright longlist announcement

“I’ve never read anything with such a diversity of opinions about the complex, often-fraught relationship between urban and rural worlds” Ben Hoare, Countryfile Magazine

“Wow: it’s a stunner. A lively guide through the thorny challenges of rural life in an urban world. Essential reading for both incomer and local” Tom Heap, broadcaster & author of 39 Ways to Save the Planet

“Well written and thought provoking” Sunday Telegraph


“The gulf between the attitudes of her Welsh farming family and the hipsterish city of Bristol has never been more difficult to cross. The author is ideally equipped to investigate the phenomenom…and well-placed to balance the issues.” Country Life magazine

“A timely idea, very well executed…Divide is ultimately an optimistic book, delighting in the merits of both the urban and rural experience at a time of great change.” Juliet Blaxland, author of The Easternmost Sky


I wrote Divide because I spend a lot of time feeling caught in the middle of the urban/rural divide. Farmers talk to me about it all the time – sometimes angrily. My family debate it around the dinner table. In the city, where I live and work, I hear assumptions and stereotypes about country life, which aren’t always true. I play devil’s advocate – trying to help one side see the other’s perspective. To me, the divide is real, and obvious, but it’s never really been delved into. I want to try and change that, and help two very different worlds understand each other better.

Join the Conversation

Reviews, podcasts, talks and interviews with Anna about Divide:

Countryfile Magazine: ‘Town vs Country – What’s causing the divide?’, September 2022

Into the Wild Festival, Sussex: ‘Bringing Back the Wild’ rewilding panel, August 27th 2022

RSA Bridges to the Future: ‘Bridging the divide between town and country’, August 9th 2022

Cornish Mutual: ‘Bridging the urban-rural divide’, June 30th 2022

Farmers Weekly: How to foster good relations with new rural neighbours, June 16th 2022

KITE Festival, Kirtlington Park, Oxfordshire: ‘Is Rural Life a Relic Worth Saving?’, June 11th 2022

RTÉ Countrywide, Radio 1: June 11th 2022

Hay Festival: ‘Anna Jones talks to Kitty Corrigan’, May 26th 2022

FarmED Literature Festival, May 15th 2022

Fieldwork Bookclub: May 12th 2022

Irish Farmers Journal: ‘Bridging the divide between town and country’, May 4th 2022

Planted Country, Stourhead: ‘Farming for All’, May 1st 2022

Louder Than Words Podcast: ‘Being Kinder, Being Human’, April 21st 2022

Ear to the Ground Podcast: ‘Anna Jones on the relationship crisis between town and country’, April 17th 2022

RegenAgri Podcast: ‘What does the public think about regenerative farming?’, April 13th 2022

Wicked Leeks: ‘Food and farming? Not as conjoined as you’d think’, March 23rd 2022

Farming Social Hub, KL1 Radio, March 13th 2022

Country Life Magazine, ‘Town vs country? Let’s heal the divide’, March 2nd 2022

Agri Food Comms-Cast: ‘Book vs social – conquering the town and country divide’, February 28th 2022

Meet the Farmers Podcast: ‘Exploring the Relationship Crisis Between Town and Country – with Anna Jones’, February 28th 2022

Sunday Telegraph, ‘Why the modern urbanite will never understand the countryside’, February 27th 2022

R2Kast (Rural 2 Kitchen) Podcast: ‘Anna Jones on directing BBC Countryfile, Journalism and her new book, DIVIDE!’, February 25th 2022

Kite Podcast: “We Eat Balanced” and Positive Dairy Promotion, January 21st 2022

From the publisher KYLE BOOKS:

“Divide is a ground-breaking exploration of the urban and rural cultural division. This book is a plea and a call to action. It warns that unless we learn to accept and respect our social, cultural and political differences as town and country people, we are never going to solve the chronic problems present in our food system and environment. As we stare down the barrel of climate change, only farmers – who manage two thirds of the UK’s landscape – working together with conservation groups can create a healthier food system and bring back nature in diverse abundance. But this fledgling progress is hindered and hamstrung by simplistic debates that still stoke conflict between conservative rural communities and the liberal green movement.Each chapter, from Home and Work, Politics and Diversity to Animals and Food, Environment and Community, explores a different aspect of the urban/rural disconnect, weaving case studies and research with Anna’s personal stories of growing up on a small, upland farm.

A rural affairs journalist, Anna Jones has a unique perspective and insight into the cultural, agricultural and social issues that often divide rather than unite. Having grown up on a sheep farm in the Welsh borders, and later lived in urban settings, her media sensibility sees the reasons why these two disparate sections of society need to respect their differences and recognise each other’s strengths and work together to protect and preserve the land.”



Other writing:

My journalism career started in newspapers and magazines and I have never stopped writing. It’s always been a passion and I still write freelance articles, blogs and opinion pieces for a range of publications whenever I can, mostly with a countryside and farming flavour.

Articles by Anna:

Apocalypse Cow: The moment Monbiot went too far (EatFarmNow, January 2020)

Meat on the BBC: The good, the bad and the ugly (EatFarmNow, November 2019)

‘What they put on the fields contaminates our water’: Iowa’s pollution problem (The Guardian, September 2019)

Woolly Watergate: The journalist that took on PETA (EatFarmNow, September 2019)

Flame grilled: Meat in the media (EatFarmNow, August 2019)

Is a culture of secrecy silencing our voice? (Pig World, March 2019)

Bridging the Disconnect between farmers and the media (Farm Business, May 2018)

Agriculture holds the key to unlocking Africa’s vast economic potential (The Guardian)

Britain’s £100bn farming sector ready to take control of its own destiny (Irish Independent)

Behind the scenes of Countryfile (Countryfile Magazine)

Farmer’s Daughter Telling Farming Stories at the BBC (Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa)