Woods for conservation and enjoyment

You are here: Home > Blog > Reviews & Puzzles

woodland rss feed

Woodlands.co.uk - Reviews & Puzzles

"Woodland Gardening" from 'Plants for a Future'.

“Woodland Gardening” from ‘Plants for a Future’.

by Chris ~ 26 August, 2015 ~ 2 comments

A book entitled “Woodland Gardening” has grown out of a project that began back in 1980s / 90s.  “Plants for a Future” began in 1989 when a 28 acre plot of land was bought by Ken and Addy Fern near Lostwithiel, Cornwall.   The aim was to demonstrate the importance and many uses of plants, particularly perennials using permaculture techniques.   This is in marked contrast to many aspects of current agricultural practice, which involves the constant working of the soil, the intensive use of ‘agro-chemicals’ and a heavy reliance of a limited palette of annual crops.

Their woodland gardening ‘seeks to emulate beneficial aspects of natural woodland’.  In woodlands, trees, shrubs and herbs all grow alongside one another year after year, offering shelter and food to various animals, including us.   The soil is stable and its structure and fertility are maintained through the natural recycling of materials and nutrients. Read more…

"Landmarks", Robert Macfarlane's new book

“Landmarks”, Robert Macfarlane’s new book

by Angus ~ 30 April, 2015 ~ one comment

According to the new “Landmarks” book, the Oxford Junior dictionary recently removed some words which the editor considered less relevant to today’s young people.  These exclusions included: acorn, ash, beech, bluebell, hazel, ivy, fern, lark, mistletoe, newt and otter.  Such words had to be removed to make space for these more relevant words, amongst others: blog, chatroom, MP3player, broadband, attachment and voice-mail.  This change, which is said by the editor to reflect the reality of modern-day children’s urban lives, is alarming in its acceptance that children might no longer “see the seasons, or that the rural environment might be so unproblematically disposable.”

Macfarlane has an absorbing obsession about both the countryside and about language.  Putting the two together, he has produced a beautifully written book that examines how people think about their outdoor surroundings and particularly how a fertile language has developed around the country.    But, he also brings out the sheer depth of vernacular vocabulary of people who work with the land. Read more…

Growing fine Oak timber in 100 years in your woodland

Growing fine Oak timber in 100 years in your woodland

by Angus ~ 22 February, 2015 ~ one comment

Bede Howell is a massively respected forest manager (and French speaker) who has always taken the long view of British woodlands.  In this new book, Bede both learns from the experience of others and shares it – he has translated into English Jean Lemaire’s brilliant book on growing oak for timber.  Oak trees are easily the most important broadleaves in Britain and occupy about 9% of the forest area but typically rotations have taken 150 – 200 years or more to maturity but with wise planting and management this book, “Oak: fine timber in 100 years“, shows how good quality timber can be grown in about 100 years.

“Oak: fine timber in 100 years” uses every possible way of getting its message across – text, photos, diagrams, charts, graphs, tables, maps and sketches.  Read more…

"Seeing Butterflies", a book by Philip Howse

“Seeing Butterflies”, a book by Philip Howse

by Peter ~ 4 January, 2015 ~ comments welcome

Philip Howse’s new book ‘Seeing Butterflies’ tries to understand the reasons behind butterfly colours, and is packed with beautiful pictures and explanations.

There are 59 species of butterflies in the UK, but you are most likely to see large white, gatekeeper, peacock, and comma butterflies. Grizzled skipper, wood white and peal-bordered fritillary butterflies are woodland ‘specialists’, but population numbers have widely declined partly due to a move away from traditional woodland management practices. Over half of all butterfly species are in decline, and this is even greater among those butterflies found in woodlands. When these butterflies are seen, their presence should be recorded and can even be officially reported during July and August. The Butterfly Conservation’s Steve Wheatley explains that the presence of woodland butterflies is not only important from the butterfly conservation front, but also woodland butterflies can tell us a lot about small woodlands and how they are managed. Read more…

The "woodlands.co.uk" Christmas Tree Quiz

The “woodlands.co.uk” Christmas Tree Quiz

by Angus ~ 22 December, 2014 ~ comments welcome

Hopefully, you can print out this quiz and then ask your Christmas guests and family what they know about the Christmas tree.

1. In the UK, what is the most common species commercially grown for Christmas Trees?

2. Roughly how many commercially grown Christmas Trees are harvested in Europe each year?

3. In the US, how many artificial Christmas Trees are sold each year?

4. How old is a typical Christmas tree?

5. Roughly how many Christmas trees can you grow in an acre? Read more…

Irreplacable Woodlands - a new book by Charles Flower

Irreplacable Woodlands – a new book by Charles Flower

by Angus ~ 21 November, 2014 ~ comments welcome

Charles Flower inherited a 25 acre Berkshire woodland a generation ago and had a vision for its restoration.  He points out that, “small amounts of management, particularly in rides and glades where most flowers and insects occur, can yield enormous benefits.”  What shines through Charles’ book is that he learnt almost everything about woodland management on the job as so many buyers of small woodlands do and this approach did the wood no harm at all.  Indeed, as he says, “it is only when you have the privilege of really getting to know one of these ancient woodlands that you become aware of their importance …. these woodlands are literally irreplaceable.”

This new book is as much a viewing as a read – Mike Bailey and Steve Williams have illustrated the book copiously with pictures depicting how a well-managed woodland can look and also showing management operations in progress.  But the story is an odd one – Steve and Mike were helping Charles Flowers with his earlier book (“Where have all the Flowers gone”) when they found out that he owned a woodland and they started photographing his wood just for fun.  Read more…

one planet life

The One Planet Life – another ‘must-read’ book for this week

by Chris Colley ~ 13 November, 2014 ~ one comment

This week’s other “must-read” book is “The One Planet Life : a blueprint for Low Impact Development “ by David Thorpe, which explains the idea of One Planet living, and the One Planet Development planning policy in Wales. David Thorpe is a writer and consultant on sustainability issues. He is a Special Consultant on Sustainable Cities Collective, the primary website for urban leaders globally; a founder and core group member of the One Planet Council; and the author of several books on sustainability, including: Energy Management in Buildings, Energy Management in Industry, Solar Technology and Sustainable Home Refurbishment, all in The Earthscan Expert Guide series. Prior to this he was the News Editor and Opinion Writer of the UK’s Energy and Environmental Management magazine for 13 years. Before that he was director of publications at the Centre for Alternative Technology. Read more…

The new 'must-read' tree book : "The Ash Tree" by Oliver Rackham

The new ‘must-read’ tree book : “The Ash Tree” by Oliver Rackham

by Angus ~ 5 November, 2014 ~ one comment

When I last saw Oliver Rackham I was infected by his curiosity.  Someone suggested, as we walked though a woodland, that one spot might have been historically used for making charcoal so Dr Rackham dived into the undergrowth armed only with a set of keys and dug into the soil and he soon emerged triumphant with some old charred remains, proving definitively that this location had in fact been used for charcoal making.  This sort of curiosity and dogged ferreting for facts runs through his new book on the ash tree.  He considers what threats the ash tree faces, but he also uses the book as a platform for a wider diagnosis of the state of British woodlands.   Read more…

Next Page »

© 2017 Woodland Investment Management Ltd | Disclaimer | Contact us | Blog powered by WordPress