Roly Smith is a freelance writer, editor and media consultant, and the author of over 90 books on walking and the countryside. He was Chairman of the British Outdoor Writers’ and Photographers’ Guild (1990-2001), then President (2001-13) and now serves as its Vice-president. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society in 2016.
In his first collaboration with Rucksack Readers, he conceived and edited Call of the Wild to celebrate 25 years of the Guild’s work. In 2017, he collaborated with the distinguished American wilderness photographer David Muench to produce Wild America, a personal celebration of the US National Parks.
Roly took voluntary early retirement in 1997 after 13 years as Head of Information Services with the Peak District National Park to concentrate on his freelance career. He is still referred to as ‘Mr Peak District’ in the local press. Previously he enjoyed a 20-year award-winning career in newspaper journalism, latterly as a feature writer with the Birmingham Post and Mail.
He is now an author, editor and freelance contributor to a variety of publications. Among his recent books are Wonders of the Peak: Then & Now (2018); Wild America with David Muench and This Land with photographer Joe Cornish (2016); The Peak District (2nd edition, 2015); National Parks of Britain (2nd edition, 2011); Heritage Landscapes: a guide to Britain’s Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (2011); and World Heritage Sites of Britain (2010).