Oak and Ash and Thorn: The Ancient Woodlands and New Forests of Britain by Peter Fiennes

Oak and Ash and Thorn: The Ancient Woodlands and New Forests of Britain

When the government announced plans to sell off up to 150,000 hectares of English forests and woodland in 2010, it ignited an immediate and impassioned fight against the proposal. Even today, the British people continue to have a deep love for their woods, which have inspired countless myths, stories and poems throughout time. Peter Fiennes celebrates the beauty and myster...

Title:Oak and Ash and Thorn: The Ancient Woodlands and New Forests of Britain
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Edition Language:English

Oak and Ash and Thorn: The Ancient Woodlands and New Forests of Britain Reviews

  • Susan Sherman

    I think I would have liked this book more if I lived in the UK. The history of trees through fact and literature. Interesting

  • Kelly

    Excellent meandering, earnest loveliness.

  • Michael Cook

    A whimsical ramble through the history of trees, punctuated by some serious concern about the damage we are doing to our planet by denuding our forests. I enjoyed Peter Fiennes's gentle rants and found myself agreeing with him on a whole range of subjects from hunting, conifer planting and development. How nice to read something by one who genuinely cares; the point is, will any of us take heed? A lovely book.

  • Jeff Van Campen

    *Oak and Ash and Thorn* is written like a ramble in the woods. The best kind of ramble—one without a map where the goal is simply to see what you discover. Peter Fiennes is our guide on this ramble, and he points out fact after fact about the different types of trees. He does tend to ramble, often telling tangential tales. which are sometimes interesting and sometimes baffling.

    Unfortunately, we also discover that the woods are disappearing and have been some time. We discover flytipping and gree

    *Oak and Ash and Thorn* is written like a ramble in the woods. The best kind of ramble—one without a map where the goal is simply to see what you discover. Peter Fiennes is our guide on this ramble, and he points out fact after fact about the different types of trees. He does tend to ramble, often telling tangential tales. which are sometimes interesting and sometimes baffling.

    Unfortunately, we also discover that the woods are disappearing and have been some time. We discover flytipping and greed, mismanagement with the best of intentions and a separation from nature. He offers hope, though, and takes us into woods that have been recently planted, some that are slowly recovering

    Along the way, Fiennes considers some difficult topics that I find fascinating: the overlap between the city and the country, the similarity of the language used to describe immigrants and invasive species and the fact that many "natural" landscapes are in fact man-made.

    There are two standout sections of this book.

    One is a history of Britain's trees from 5,000BC to 2017, with every word corresponding to the passing of two years. The book was worth it just for those 3,508 words.

    The second standout section is Fiennes list of things that we can do to help change the loss of woodland in this country. While it ends on a macabre note, it provides a several useful points for anyone who has read the book (or simply looked around) and despaired of being able to change the way things are.

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