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(Collins New Naturalist #100)

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  111 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Exploring the significance and history of woodlands on the British landscape, this book looks at such diverse evidence as the woods used in buildings and ships, and how woodland has been portrayed in pictures and photographs, reconstructing British woodland through the ages. Aimed at the non-specialist, this book investigates what woods are and how they function. In lively ...more
Paperback, 592 pages
Published October 1st 2006 by HarperCollins UK (first published 2006)
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Apr 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing

Oh dammit. I just finished this. I had no idea that after 77% it would be the footnotes etc. This fascinating, beautifully written, witty book about British woods has been part of my morning, specifically that little read before coffee while I'm enjoying my still warm covers, for about a year now.
British woods are small worlds with fascinating all kinds of fascinating interlocking ecologies. The Quebec woods have all that too, but half an hour north, it gets vast and boreal pretty fast. My el
Monty Milne
Oct 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a demanding book for a non-scientist like me and the wealth of detail can be a little overwhelming at times. Nevertheless, it is written with a great deal of verve and elegance as well. The author was clearly a man of wide and deep sympathy and understanding, and this work has deservedly become a classic. How extensive were ancient British woodlands? What did they look like? How did human activities affect them over time - such as royal forests for hunting deer, or oak trees for the Roya ...more

These are the villains, destroying or misunderstanding British woodland. Or are they? Where I live we have deer squirrels and more bluebell woods than you can shake a stick at. That's the trouble with this book - it's hugely detailed and informative, but there are some surprising omissions. Like Surrey, for instance - England's most wooded county - not worth a mention, except perhaps in passing references to the Weald (High Weald? Low Weald?) It made me wonder what o
Chris Thorley
Nov 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I finally finished this after dipping into it for just over a year. Perhaps it wasn't meant to be read cover to cover, and to be used as a reference book but that's what happened. I think it took so long because, due to being very comprehensive, some bits were more interesting than others (and also I had this strange idea that I had to read it inside woodlands). It was definitely very well researched and I learnt a lot about how woodlands and forests work and how they are (or have been) used by ...more
Nov 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very interesting, very informative. It changed the way I see the woods and trees around me when I'm out walking. What more can you ask from a book?

It is a heavy read, though. Be prepared for a slow go through more detail than you will likely ever need.
Dec 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've only been dipping out of this book for 3 1/2 years and I'm finally done! I don't think I can bring myself to read anymore mega tomes from Dr. Rackham. This was an excellent piece of work, but so so dense. Not for the light hearted.
Chelsie Beaudoin
This book is packed and dense with information on woodlands (mainly in Britain) as a whole and not about trees as individuals. It discusses how trees, woodland plants, animals, and humans have all influenced woodland throughout history as far as we can gather from records and history. Much of the book looks at how humans have influenced woods, how they have related to us, and how we used woods over the years.
Jan 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
A fascinating book exploring the history and nature of English woodland, and considering the state of woodland in the rest of the year. This is a must read for anyone interested in tree and woodland conservation.

Many green people look to tree planting as a way forward (myself included). This book realy made me understand the differences between ancient wood and replanting, and the importance of woodland as a whole environment not just trees. Woodlands have evolved alongside people, and our relat
Mar 12, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: didn-t-finish
I wanted to like this but I wasn't able to finish it.

The start of the book was fantastic and I learned lots of interesting facts about trees and woodland. However this slowly turned into what I can only describe as the author writing everything here knows about woodland. He goes into great detail about specific woods, and tiny details that I - and i suspect most people - don't care about. I wish he'd pruned the content a little.

I'm sure this book would be of great interest if you need to know lo
Aug 20, 2012 rated it did not like it
I felt the subject matter was extremely interesting, however upon reading this book I found there were so many factual errors, I gave up reading anymore past page 268 due to the fact I felt I was simply wasting my time on utter rot - for example, in the UK alone tens of thousands of deer are killed by motorists, where did those figures come from?

Oct 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
An outstanding piece of work. I can see why they chose this for the 100th edition.

This isn't something you're going to read casually, it took me several months to finish, but if you have an interest in the subject matter it is extremely comprehensive.
Jul 29, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book by this respected author
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Oliver Rackham OBE FBA (17 October 1939 – 12 February 2015) was an academic who studied the British countryside, especially trees, woodlands and wood pasture, Rackham wrote a number of books, including The History of the Countryside (1986) and one on Hatfield Forest. He also studied and published extensively on the ecology of Crete, Greece.

In 1998 he was awarded the OBE for "services to Nature Con

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