Start reading The Great Wood: The Ancient Forest of Caledon on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here or start reading now with a free Kindle Reading App.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device


Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.
The Great Wood: The Ancient Forest of Caledon

The Great Wood: The Ancient Forest of Caledon [Kindle Edition]

Jim Crumley
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £9.99
Kindle Price: £2.78 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
You Save: £7.21 (72%)
* Unlike print books, digital books are subject to VAT.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition £2.78  
Paperback £6.99  
Kindle Daily Deal
Kindle Daily Deal: At least 60% off
Each day we unveil a new book deal at a specially discounted price--for that day only. Learn more about the Kindle Daily Deal or sign up for the Kindle Daily Deal Newsletter to receive free e-mail notifications about each day's deal.

Product Description


'Crumley gives unique insight into the rich history of this land. *****.' --Scottish Field

'Crumley's greatest talent lies in his ability to convey genuine sympathy for the wildlife he observes, and a somehow calming sense that, however much mankind might like to think itself above all that, we re really all just part and parcel of the same continuum.' --The Stirling Observer

'[His] passion for the natural world reverberates to the core of his being, and he writes about it with the style of a poet' --The Herald

'On familiar passionate and poetic form ****' --Press & Journal Review

Product Description

The Great Wood of Caledon - the historic native forest of Highland Scotland - has a reputation as potent and misleading as the wolves that ruled it. The popular image is of an impassable, sun-snuffing shroud, a Highlandswide jungle infested by wolf, lynx, bear, beaver, wild white cattle, wild boar, and wilder painted men. Jim Crumley shines a light into the darker corners of the Great Wood, to re-evaluate some of the questionable elements of its reputation, and to assess the possibilities of its partial resurrection into something like a national forest. The book threads a path among relict strongholds of native woodland, beginning with a soliloquy by the Fortingall Yew, the one tree in Scotland that can say of the hey-day of the Great Wood 5,000 years ago: 'I was there.' The journey is enriched by vivid wildlife encounters, a passionate and poetic account that binds the slow dereliction of the past to an optimistic future.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 436 KB
  • Print Length: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Birlinn (4 Oct 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006WBZ5Q0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #112,242 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4 star
2 star
1 star
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Great Wood. 19 Nov 2011
By Stewart M TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Nothing seems to be able to create myths better than ancient forests. They sit centre stage in many fairy tales, becoming a metaphor for darkness and danger. Their more modern role as a vision of a kind of pre-industrial paradise is as much a myth as their fairy tale role.

Jim Crumley explores the myths and current reality of Scotland's ancient woodlands - called here The Great Wood of Caledon. (I must admit to a bit of a dislike of this name even if it is authentic, as it seemed to summon a sort of Tolkienic vision of the world!)

The remaining fragments of this once mighty woodland are visited and described in a simple, but evocative fashion. Memories from childhood and knowledge from today are blended together as woods are visited. I would have liked to have seen at least one map showing the spread of the areas visited, as me knowledge of the geography of Scotland is clearly not as strong as the authors.

In the end the conclusions reached in the book - that the Great Wood may have been less great than with think, was probably altered by humans earlier than first thought and was certainly more divers than a expected - are all in line with other findings about woodlands within British Isles.

What is different here is that there are plans afoot to create much of the Great Wood again - and this book helps show that while the task itself is possible (and in many areas really not that ecologically difficult) in needs to be done in a way that reflects the reality of the Wood rather than the myth.

In many ways this rather splendid book is an extension of Crumley's earlier work The Last Wolf.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A worthwhile read 18 Aug 2013
Crumley is a nature writer that i have never heard of until recently. He has written a number of books, and has also done some things for the BBC from what i have found out.

This book is looking at the remnants of the forests that used to cover the landscape of Scotland, that are now very much reduced compared to ancient times. Each chapter is written from a different aspect or perspective or a recollection of a walk taken in a forest, or wild animals seen. He writes with a passion for his subject, be it the trees of the forests and woods, or the red deer, eagles or pine martens that he sees in his explorations. He is scathing of the Forestry Commissions 'management' of the woods and forests, and asks some pretty serious questions as to their future in managing these unique environments. Unlike most nature books, he takes the long view. He considers what these places could become with the reintroduction of wolves, and with a measured approach to the planting of these areas, and looking to re-introduce a proper mix of native species to the forest, and to join the four main ares up.

I found the writing did not flow as well as someone like Mabey, but it was a worthwhile read, and i really like the fact that he is wanting to think of the long term opportunities of these environments for wildlife and man alike.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Evocative, spiritual, wonderful. 13 Aug 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
One of the most beautiful books I have ever read.
OK, I'm prejudiced, because he talks about some places I have walked through or driven through, so I can relate personally to some of this book.
You don't have to know anything about the woods and forests of Scotland, because anyone who has ever been moved by forests or even the individual "special" tree needs to read this book.
Evocative, descriptive, in parts a spiritual journey,
Can' recommend it too highly.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars . 14 Dec 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am very happy with this product, on time and reasonable price Will certainly use them again for future purchases.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for similar items by category