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Woodlands [Paperback]

Oliver Rackham
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
RRP: 14.99
Price: 10.34 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

16 Aug 2012

‘Trees are wildlife just as deer or primroses are wildlife. Each species has its own agenda and its own interactions with human activities …’

Written by one of Britain’s best-known naturalists, Woodlands offers a fascinating new insight into the trees of the British landscape that have filled us with awe and inspiration throughout the centuries.

Looking at such diverse evidence as the woods used in buildings and ships, and how woodland has been portrayed in pictures and photographs, Rackham traces British woodland through the ages, from the evolution of wildwood, through man’s effect on the landscape, modern forestry and its legacy, and recent conservation efforts and their effects.

In his lively and thoroughly engaging style, Rackham explores woodlands and their history, through names, surveys, mapping and legal documents, archaeology, photographs and works of art, thus offering an utterly compelling insight into British woodlands and how they have come to shape a national obsession.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Collins; New edition edition (16 Aug 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007481047
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007481040
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 15.2 x 4.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 35,135 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


‘Rackham has been a great champion for real woods and against the endless postwar conifer plantations – a campaign now largely won. Here he is writing not as a conservationist, but simply to share his prodigious knowledge of woods and trees with the reader.’
The Times

‘… A magnificent compendium of evocations, celebrations and warnings – the harvest of a long lifetime, gathered slowly but with unflagging passion.’

‘The Woodland Trust welcomes Oliver Rackham’s latest book celebrating the glories of our irreplaceable ancient woodland heritage. Restoration of ancient woods and creation of new woods is vital to creating a countryside which is more sympathetic to woodland wildlife, and which delivers benefits to society.’
Woodland Trust

‘Magnificent, masterful … For those of us who worship trees, Rackham is our (slightly grumpy) High Druid. A true classic.’
The Week

About the Author

Oliver Rackham is a name synonymous with woodlands. He has written various books on trees and woodland, most recently a second edition of Ancient Woodland: Its History, Vegetation, and Uses in England. Dr Rackham (OBE) is currently Praelector Rhetoricus at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars great writing in poor quality paperback 13 Feb 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Thought id buy this for myself as i have read a fair ammount of Rackhams work, so was going to treat myself after finishing a tricky bit of work. I ,of course, was engaged by the writing but the quality of the printing and any photo / diagram reproduction is budget at best and shocking at worst. I know people who buy this will not just be looking at the pictures and there are arguements that its for a specialist not generalist but still, come on. I have many specialist books that are beautifully finished and presented.
But its still worth it to read his narrative on the landscape , on a budget
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, but beware. 24 Sep 2012
By JW123
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful book in all respects. Informative and the prose style is a joy to read. If you have read Rackhams History of the Countryside (if not, you should) then you will know what to expect. My only niggle is that the book is listed as hardcover on Amazon, but was actually delivered as paperback. Mustn't grumble at this price though.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rackham, a name to know 28 Nov 2013
By Smeff
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Whilst studying woodlands for my university course, this book was recommended by a very highly respected lecturer and he was right to do so. Very indepth and thick book about our woodlands, lots of information to include in our coursework, an important reference to know. Couldn't be a better authority on woodlands and a great addition to my bookshelf.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very informative, very well written! 28 Mar 2013
By trees
Its seems unfair for this book to be given an average of three stars, mainly due to its physical condition. Yes, ok, the photos are all black and white and not on gloss plates, but its not a major issue. Another reviewer mentioned large blocks of text, yes, it looks it at first glance, but its actually flows very well and doesn't daunt you while you read it. I think its straddling the ground between academic type books on similar subjects which are generally within the 60-100 bracket and the lighter glossy cover natural history books, and what you think of the book probably depends on what you wanted from the book originally.

I dont care that the pictures are grainy or the spine is soft, its very well written, you learn very much from the book as you read it, and importantly, it makes you think. It takes an in-depth but extensive look at woodlands and woodland history in the UK and abroad, and although its over 500 pages long, it certainly is not boring or slow to read.

It certainly helps if you know a bit about trees prior to reading the book, not academically, but in a practical way, i.e., you know what all the common trees look like and a little bit about where they grow, but you dont have to have a degree to read it.

Just enjoy it and let yourself learn from it.
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