The Wood: The Life & Times of Cockshutt Wood
'Indisputably, one of the best nature-writers of his generation' (Country Life)
BBC Radio 4 'Book of the Week'
This is the story of a wood - both its natural daily life and its historical times. Cockshutt is a particular wood - three and half acres of mixed woodland in south west Herefordshire - but it stands as exemplar for all the small woods of England.
For four years J...more
The writing varies from lines of lyrical beauty to those presenting interesting and informative content. The text is in diary format starting in December and ending in November the following year. It offers a view of English countryside from someone who works the land, from someone who knows it and loves it. The book is in this res ...more
The Wood is a diary of Cockshutt Wood, just over 3 acres of mixed woodland in Herefordshire. Lewis-Stempel managed the woodland for 4 years and the book is really a love letter to that time and place.
Lewis-Stempel is a truly wonderful writer. I was going to call him a nature writer, but that's a term he baulks at. In his words he's a countryside writer -
"I give the view of the countryside from someone who wo ...more
This is a book you can read again and again - not only because the writing is beautiful, but also because it contains far too much information to take in on one reading, especially if your knowledge about the countryside is on the sketchy side.
It’s a diary of John Lewis-Stempel’s last year managing the Cockshutt Wood, in a remote hilly bit of Herefordshire, but it’s also rather like an almanac, albeit a highly personalised one. The book is made up mostly of the author’s observations of ...more
Over twelve months, this is the story of Cockshutt Wood in Shropshire, representative of all the small woods in our landscape and the sanctuary they provide.
From January through to December, John Lewis-Stempel records the passage of the seasons in exquisite prose, as the cuckoo flits through the green shade in the silence and the wind of winter. He explores from the roots of the oak to its tips, under the black, spicy leaf mould of the woodland floor and up in ...more
Lewis-Stempel’s latest has been written in a diary format and ...more
So it was a great delight to stumble upon his latest book 'The Wood' in Waterstones on Saturday. I have devoured the book all over E ...more
It's written as a diary and so a little meandering and lacking in drive somehow and you have to forgive it that. I'd like to see something g by him with more structure. I hear his books on the hare and the oak raved about so I'll be trying those. ...more
Thoroughly enjoyed both books I have read by the author and look forward to devouring more.
The book is basically John Lewis-Stempel’s diary, that he kept for the last year that he was living and managing Cockshutt Wood, in Herefordshire. I didn’t realise places like Cockshutt needed managing before I read this book! His ‘management’ of the Wood - coppicing trees, tree-haying, culling b ...more
I have finished my first read of the year. Despite being a relatively short and easy read, I took 10 days to finish it. This is not a bad thing – I have found that I generally take longer to read nature books. I don’t gobble them up in a few days, rather I slow down and savour them, ease into the rhythm of nature in them (if they are well-written, of course). Nature is not fast-moving, it is slow and steady, change will come w ...more
A mix of beautiful prose, history, recipes, poems, and nature facts, but above all, about life and death in Cockshutt Wood, this is a ...more
While I don't think this is quite as good as "The Running Hare", perhaps because the d ...more