Oak and Ash and Thorn: The Ancient Woods and New Forests of Britain
Description: The magic and mystery of the woods are embedded in British culture, from ancient folklore to modern literature. They offer us refuge: a place to play, a place to think. They are the generous providers of fuel, timber, energy and life. They let us dream of other ways of living. Yet we now face a future where taking a walk in the woods is consigned to the tales we tell our children. Threatened by development, neglect and climate chaos, they are emptier - of flora and fauna, but also of people - than they have ever been. Immersing himself in the beauty of Britain's woodlands and the art and writing they have inspired, Peter Fiennes explores our long relationship with the woods and the sad and violent story of how so many have been lost. Just as we need them, our woods need us too. But who, if anyone, is looking out for them? Fiennes journeys to Croft Castle & Parkland (Herefordshire), Clapham Common, Northfield Wood, The Weald, Knockwood & Secret Wood (Tenterden), Windsor Great Park, Runnymede (Surrey), Sherwood Forest, Cranborne Chase (Dorset), Kingley Vale (W. Sussex), Kipling's house (South Downs), Wistman's Wood (Dartmoor), Wayland Wood (Norfolk), Queen's Wood (Highgate), Hardcastle Crags (W. Yorkshire), Glover's Wood (Sussex), Smithy Wood (Sheffield).
Review: `Steeped in poetry, science, folklore, history and magic, Fiennes is an eloquent, elegiac chronicler of copses, coppicing and the wildwood.' * <i>Sunday Express</i> * `Peter Fiennes writes with a piercingly urgent tone as he examines what he sees as the desperate state of our trees.' * <i>BBC Wildlife</i> * `Extraordinary... Written with a mixture of lyricism and quiet fury...Fiennes's book winningly combines autobiography, literary history and nature writing. It feels set to become a classic of the genre.' * <i>Observer</i> * `A passionate ramble through Britain's complicated relationship with its woodland.' * <i>Daily Mail</i> * `A joy of a book and a delight to read.' * <i>The Great Outdoors</i> * `A wonderful wander into the woods that explores our deep-rooted connections - cultural, historical and personal - with the trees.' -- Rob Cowen, author of <i>Common Ground</i> `A tender hymn to the trees, a manifesto for a woodland society, a contemporary gazette of ideas and attitudes radiating into the future like annual rings from the original pith... In this lyrical, informative, unashamedly arboreal propaganda, one man's walk in the woods can inspire a generation.' -- Paul Evans, author of <i>Field Notes from the Edge</i> `Peter Fiennes really can see the wood for the trees - he blends mythology, natural history and a sense of righteous anger to produce a paean of praise to our ancient woodlands and modern forests, and the life support system they provide.' -- Stephen Moss, author of <i>Wild Kingdom: Bringing Back Britain's Wildlife</i> `Passionate and thoughtful in exactly the way the best nature writing should be...the woodlands of Britain have found their perfect advocate.' -- Hugh Thomson, author of <i>The Green Road into the Trees</i> `Fiennes is the best of guides, gently, eloquently and with a fierce humour telling a sad story - relating chapters of fascinating detail to brighten his tale and quoting the poets as he goes.' -- John Wright, author of <i>A Natural History of the Hedgerow</i>
Author Biography: Peter Fiennes is the author of To War with God, a moving account of his grandfather's service in WWI. He lives in Wandsworth, south-west London.