The Wood : The Life & Times of Cockshutt Wood by John Lewis-Stempel
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One of Bill’s top picks. He says you can’t go wrong with a Lewis-Stempel!
‘BRITAIN’S FINEST LIVING NATURE WRITER’ – THE TIMES ON SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER and BBC Radio 4 ‘Book of the Week’ from ‘indisputably, one of the best nature-writers of his generation’ (Country Life) Written in diary format, The Wood is the story of English woodlands as they change with the seasons. Lyrical and informative, steeped in poetry and folklore, The Wood inhabits the mind and touches the soul. For four years John Lewis-Stempel managed Cockshutt wood, a particular wood – three and half acres of mixed woodland in south west Herefordshire – that stands as exemplar for all the small woods of England.
John coppiced the trees and raised cows and pigs who roamed free there. This is the diary of the last year, by which time he had come to know it from the bottom of its beech roots to the tip of its oaks, and to know all the animals that lived there – the fox, the pheasants, the wood mice, the tawny owl – and where the best bluebells grew. For many fauna and flora, woods like Cockshutt are the last refuge.