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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Great Wood.
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 -...
Published on 19 Nov 2011 by Stewart M

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A worthwhile read
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...
Published 16 months ago by Half Man, Half Book


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Great Wood., 19 Nov 2011
By 
Stewart M (Victoria, Australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Great Wood: The Ancient Forest Wood (Paperback)
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. Both books deal with the myth and reality of an important aspect of the Scottish landscape - wolves in the later and forests in this work. Both seek to separate the myth from reality and both offer a vision for a greener and more natural future.

I would recommend The Great Wood very highly - and the Last Wolf for that matter.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A worthwhile read, 18 Aug 2013
This review is from: The Great Wood: The Ancient Forest Wood (Paperback)
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Evocative, spiritual, wonderful., 13 Aug 2013
By 
R. C. Geddes "ruarig" (Yorkshire UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Great Wood: The Ancient Forest Wood (Paperback)
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.
BUT,,,
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.
Wonderful!!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ., 14 Dec 2013
By 
Samuel C. Graham "aleister F" (skye, scotland, uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Great Wood: The Ancient Forest Wood (Paperback)
I am very happy with this product, on time and reasonable price Will certainly use them again for future purchases.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 26 Oct 2014
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This review is from: The Great Wood: The Ancient Forest Wood (Paperback)
OK book
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The Great Wood: The Ancient Forest Wood
The Great Wood: The Ancient Forest Wood by Jim Crumley (Paperback - 11 July 2014)
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