Macfarlane’s article seems to have been very influential in just the past few days since it was published – I’ve been tracking down several responses to it (and wrote one myself, which tied in with a series of related posts from the past 12 months or so).
I think it ties in with an even wider (beyond just England) growing paradigm about nature and landscape. Adam Roberts, in his review of Jeff Vandermeer’s Southern Reach trilogy wrote:
The more interesting question is whether there’s something in the water that is informing speculative writing today. Maybe “Nature” in this sense is the coming thing. A kind of Macfarlanization of the Science Fictional idiom.
Something’s definitely emerging related to landscape/nature, myth, and related concepts.