JAMIE Quartermaine has spent 29 years writing his latest book for Oxford Archaeology publishing arm Lancaster Imprints, though the time it took is not because of a severe case of writers’ block.

Cairns, Fields, and Cultivation: Archaeological Landscapes of the Lake District Uplands took so long because it involved cataloguing each and every one of the Lake District’s 10,500 monuments.

The project manager, with the company since 1986, said: “It means you have a better understanding of the Lake District.

“More importantly, if we know where these monuments are we can protect them, so what we know about stays there.”

Mr Quartermaine, 54, traces his interest in archaeology back to his time on a Kibbutz in Israel aged 18.

He said: “I was in a bar in Jerusalem. I saw a sign on the door saying ‘Anybody interested in archaeology dig? See Dave at the bar’.

“I went on a dig near Bethlehem and had a fantastic time. I went to another job and thought ‘I can get used to this’.”