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4.2 out of 5 stars
Woodsman
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 19 October 2013
Whilst there can be no doubting Ben's affinity with his environment and his deep love of nature; I found this book most unsatisfying, I'm afraid.
He is a woodsman and a master of his craft but there seemed to be a commercial edge to this book by way of promoting his products in a very blatant way. He appears to be a little too preoccupied with selling his wares!
He mentions "his company" quite a lot and I found this very irritating.
I wanted more of Ben's interpretation of nature, which you do get to some extent, and when this is the case, it's delightful.
For me - this was a real disappointment; there was just a little too much of Ben selling Ben. I hope "fame" does not damage his true calling; he should remember why it all started and where he began.
Sorry Ben.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Ben Law has lived and worked in Prickly Nut Wood for over 20 years, and this book gives an insight into his life. It's written in a very accessible style and a glossary is provided to understand some of the woodland jargon.
Ben's story begins when he first moved into the wood and how he observed what was going on around him before deciding what to do with the woodland. It then moves on to all the things that Ben has carried out over the years. It's an interesting and informative book and covers things like, hedge laying, charcoal burning and coppicing and extracting wood. It also includes a bit about the house Ben built (featured on Grand Designs), but I think this is covered in more detail in another book.
The book is not written in a smug way and to be honest you really have to admire this bloke and all that he has achieved. Ben is obviously very passionate about sustaining the old methods of woodland management. The last chapter reveals Ben Law's vision of the future and it's compelling to read.
This is a book for everyone who loves nature, woodlands and interested in learning about a woodland lifestyle. It's also informative for anyone interested in learning about sustainable woodland management. It did make me think about the little things I can do to make a difference on the environment, although I can't see my husband getting rid of his Rottne harvester anytime soon.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 2 April 2014
A great read by an inspirational guy, I thought the message and content of the main book was excellent, sadly let down by a dream sequence last two chapters in which Ben's own vision for his future (and he deserves that dream in his wood) expanded to the whole of Britain...getting rid of cars yet keeping the internet ( he can't get batteries for tools due to a lack of chemicals, yet we can maintain the web!)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 30 May 2013
A lovely book that makes you want to rush out and leave the rat race behind. It is very inspiring and makes you reassess your relationship with nature. Some of Ben Laws ideas on how our lifestyles might change are a bit unrealistic of how most of us can live, but well worth the read none the less.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 20 August 2013
An easily read, considered book, full of heartfelt advice using the wealth of experience Ben Law has gained living and working in Prickly Nut Wood. Not all of us are so fortunate as to live in such well wooded country as Ben but his message is easily adapted to suit most locations. His voice is neither strident or hectoring and his message is Crystal clear. It is up to us,who currently use our planet's resources, to consider carefully what condition we leave it in for our children and our children's children.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 11 June 2014
I enjoyed this book I'm now looking into geting another not sure which one yet , some of his points are very good but I've looked into coppicing & it's very hard to get into ,the courses cost money & finding some woodland to manage is nigh on impossible
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 13 July 2013
A riveting and inspiring read from start to finish, Some wise words that resonate with me and some work I am involved with none more apt than his idea of allowing oneself to watch and record for at least a year before beginning a project.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 13 November 2013
Can't quite explain why I enjoyed this book so much as the subject matter doesn't initially seem like it would lend itself to a whole book but it simply does! Just a lovely description of a simpler way of life - I envy Ben Laws!
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on 31 January 2015
I enjoyed watching Ben Law on the TV programme Grand Designs so much so that having read his book ,I fully intend to collect all of the other books that he has written.

He has a natural writing style , you feel as if he is sitting next to you ,regaling his life story in the woods,moving through the seasons as he weaves his spell upon you.
It is also a very practical book ,and one that should be on every Town Planners Bookshelf ,as an aid to curing our Housing problems in this country Ban Law is way out in front ,so waken up Britain start to think out of the Box NOW.

JHA
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 8 March 2014
Very good and rewarding great read,informative articles and poses the question of how we live and use what we have
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