Ancient Woodland: History, Industry and Crafts

Ancient WoodlandIan D Rotherham

Shire Publications, £6.99

This is a timely publication in respect of the recent survey of the number of remaining ancient trees and woodlands in the UK.

Rotherham combines the knowledge and training of an ecologist and landscape historian, presenting both the biological importance of ancient trees themselves plus their role in biodiversity and shaping the British Isles over time. He writes with a deep reverence for ancient trees and clearly appreciates the role they have played, and continue to play, in the landscape and social evolution of the peoples of these isles.

His discourse covers the definition of ancient wood; an understanding of the terms; the number and diversity of crafts that arose because of the woodlands; archaeology and ecology of woodlands; and their future. There is no unnecessary rambling or hype, just relevant, easily absorbed and interesting text.

There are good-quality black and white and coloured photographs dotted throughout the book, supplementing as well as illustrating the text.

For a meagre £6.99 the reader gets a well-written, informative book on a subject that ought to be close to all our hearts.

Dr Stephen R Hoskins CBiol FSB