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Christmas quiz with prize for the first 40 valid entries

Christmas quiz with prize for the first 40 valid entries

by Angus ~ 9 December, 2019 ~ comments welcome

Christmas is a good time to go for a woodland walk .... and for presents.

For children, there's nothing better as a motivator than a quiz.

So we are offering to send entrants a prize of a woodlands notebook and tree poster which we will post to you as soon as we get your entry if it's valid - maximum 40 prizes. Read more...

Who owns England?

Who owns England?

by Angus ~ 27 June, 2019 ~ comments welcome

The answer is that we don't fully know but we probably soon will.  The land registry has been pushing for all the unrecorded parts of England to be registered and Guy Shrubsole and others have been pushing the Land Registry to put more of the information freely into the public domain.  What we do know so far is very well documented in Guy's book which is both analytical and full of relevant anecdotes.  England is 32 million acres in size with over half being agricultural and several million acres is natural waste such as mountains and bog so the urban area is only around 12% - less than 4 million acres.  The book establishes that there are some very chunky landowners such as the government, but there are also large holdings that go back, in effect, to the year 1066 such as the many estates where the owners can trace the titles back to the Norman conquest to say nothing of the Duchies of Cornwall and Lancaster which are "sort of" owned by the Royals.  With help from ace researcher and collaborator Anna Powell-Smith, Guy Shrubsole was able to work out that about 12% of England is owned by public sector bodies if you include the Crown and Church and conservation charities.  A further large proportion (around 5%) is held by the top 100 land-owning companies in England and Wales where the biggest owners including utility companies (United Utilities 140,000 acres and Welsh Water 78,000 acres).


Underland - new book by Robert Macfarlane - the wood-wide web and more ...

Underland – new book by Robert Macfarlane – the wood-wide web and more …

by Johnny Morris ~ 9 May, 2019 ~ comments welcome

Three quarters of the way through Macfarlane’s dazzling book he recounts a conversation with Robert Mulvaney – a palaeoclimatologist and ice-core expert at the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge. After handing Macfarlane a phial containing grains of sand, Mulvaney explains that they were extracted from a kilometre deep inside a glacier and they prove that  below the ice there was once a Sahara. “They’re beautiful” says Macfarlane. “ Desert diamonds from the bottom of the world”

I can tell you are not a scientist” replies Mulvaney. 

It is an unfair jibe. Scientist or not, Macfarlane serves science brilliantly well in his latest work, Underland - A Deep Time Journey. With every chapter he demonstrates his talent for explaining science and communicating the sheer wonder of the world through scientific goggles. The ambitious scope of his storytelling steps lightly from geology to linguistics to geomorphology onto folklore via nuclear physics and meteorology – all brought into focus with elegant prose and sprinklings of poetry. Like a skilled mixologist he serves up cocktails of scientific knowledge that delight and deliver more than the sum of the factual parts. Read more...

Scrabble blog : Part 2 letters I – Q by Bella and Stuart.

Scrabble blog : Part 2 letters I – Q by Bella and Stuart.

by Stuart ~ 3 March, 2018 ~ one comment

Some further woody related words to impress your scrabble playing friends with!


Iceni: A tribe of ancient Britons inhabiting an area of south-eastern England in present-day Norfolk and Suffolk. Their queen, Boudicca, led an unsuccessful rebellion against the Romans in AD 60. SCORE = 7

Igneous :  A type of rock, formed from solidified lava or magma. SCORE : 8

Ingle: A domestic fire or fireplace. SCORE: 6

Inglenook: A small recess that adjoins a fireplace. SCORE: 14 Read more...

Actress Dame Judi Dench arrives at The Orange British

Judi Dench has a “passion for trees” and her BBC programme explains why

by Angus ~ 31 December, 2017 ~ comments welcome

Best known as an actor, and a "national treasure", Judi Dench has had a passion for trees since she was a young girl and she owns a small 6-acre woodland which she's had for about 30 years.  This ultimate woodland programme can be seen on BBC catch-up TV - just search "Judi Dench my passion for trees".  It's a single one hour programme and takes us through a whole year, mostly in Surrey and often looking at older oak trees.  As Judi says, at one point, "my life now is just trees ... trees and, er, champagne."

Shakespeare has always been a big part of Judi Dench's life and she has acted in some thirty Shakespeare plays starting in the late 1950s and culminating, according to some, in her playing "M" of MI6 in James Bond.  Read more...

Woodland related scrabble words  (Part one A – H), from Imogen (11) and Stuart

Woodland related scrabble words  (Part one A – H), from Imogen (11) and Stuart

by Stuart ~ 5 December, 2017 ~ 3 comments

At this time of year, the scrabble board is often brought out and ‘battle’ commences.  People often play with ‘variants’ of the rules and sometimes a themed approach can be fun.  Here is a selection of woodland related words, many of which are names of woodlands that owners have purchased from woodlands.co.uk over the years.    Words have been selected via a number of different categories including interesting meanings of the words, good scoring words, common woodland words and short words with good scoring letters.  My daughter, Imogen and I came up with the words and checked them on the dictionary and scrabble checker.

Neither of us is a “scrabble wizard” but we have checked all words are in the Oxford online dictionary and that they are compatible with the scrabble word checker but if you notice anything incorrect ……… Read more...

Oak, Ash and Thorn - new woodlands book by Peter Fiennes

Oak, Ash and Thorn – new woodlands book by Peter Fiennes

by Angus ~ 29 October, 2017 ~ one comment

Peter Fiennes immersed himself in British woodlands for a year and he dug out every literary reference to woodlands that he could and visited dozens of woodlands to appreciate their magic.  The result is an erudite and inspiring tome that is also a cry for help to preserve any ancient woodland that we haven't already destroyed. "Sell everything! Protect the land!" exclaims Peter.  He outlines a five-page action plan to protect British Woodlands which he also describes as a statement of the "bleeding obvious", including creation of more woods and visiting the woods more often.  When he joins one of the Woodland Trust's campaigns to protect an ancient woodland near Sheffield from development he becomes apoplectic: "An ancient wood for a service station.  What sort of sick exchange is that?" Read more...

How George Peterken helped to save Britain's ancient woodlands, and his new book - "Woodland Development"

How George Peterken helped to save Britain’s ancient woodlands, and his new book – “Woodland Development”

by Angus ~ 20 October, 2017 ~ 2 comments

I met up with George Peterken, the man who has probably done more than any living person to protect Britain's ancient Woodlands.  He continues to study woods in fine detail to find out how they actually work and he has written a new book, "Woodland Development" where he explains how a 70-year study of Lady Park Woodland in the Wye Valley has revealed detail on how a broadleaved woodland develops.  Young trees that are just slightly larger than others at the beginning tend to stay larger: "within the first decade, probably sooner, those which are destined to become big trees will have already established themselves as the larger saplings - it's like the boat race: getting an early lead means you probably win in the long run."   Read more...

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