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The Ancient Pinewoods of Scotland Hardcover – Illustrated, 18 Apr 2013
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Magical landscapes, resonating with almost primal echoes from their thousands of years of life. --Vanessa Collingridge
A remarkable and important contribution to the natural history of Scotland. --Aubrey Manning
'Detailed, useful; frankly inspired.' --Jim Crumley, Scots Magazine
'There have been a few books published in recent years about these woodlands often referred to as the Old Forest of Caledon. For me, this is the best of the books on this subject.' --Ray Collier, Highland News
'The author s passion for his subject he has recently toured all 38 pinewoods relying on public transport, walking and cycling really shines through and the book is complemented with some lovely images.' --Scottish Field
About the Author
With over 25 years of experience working on environmental issues, Clifton Bain, now Director of IUCN Peatland Programme, gives a personal and passionate account of the human interventions that have shaped the ancient pinewoods.
Top Customer Reviews
However, this book is not a stuffy inaccessible and scientific volume. It is a beautifully written, presented and illustrated book which opens up a completely new dimension about the Ancient Pinewoods from what has been written before.
This guide is all about getting out there and visiting theses woods, with lots of useful maps and background information on how to get to each of the pinewood remnants, what to see there, and where to stay locally. I think the level of detail is just about right, and there is also interesting information about the way people have managed each site, along with a flavour of the history.
The whole idea behind the book is of a reference book packed with helpful and practical information to guide anyone with an interest in visiting these amazing places - whether a new visitor or someone who already knows many of these incredible woods.
The book is a beautiful thing in itself. As a hard back it is the sort of coffee table book you can look over in the comfort of your own home while getting enthused when planning your journey to the Ancient Pinewoods.
I would highly recommended this book to anyone with an interest in the Scottish countryside and especially in the Ancient Pinewoods which are one of Scotland's outstanding natural features.
It would be good to have a slimmed-down paperback version to use a gazzetteer to shove into a rucksack when visiting sites. The hardback is too bulky and beautiful for such purposes!
Hopefully Clifton Bain has another natural history traveller's guide book in him - next time the Western Atlantic oakwoods perhaps?
Pockets of this forest still remain, and they are described in this remarkable book. There's an excellent history of the ancient pinewoods from the end of the ice age up to the present day. It makes grim reading at first, as the woods have been greatly reduced by climate change, clearance by neolithic and then modern man, logging, fires, and most recently by our our unsustainably high deer populations - which is, of course, another man-made problem.
Ancient pinewoods are special places, and the rich biodiversity is in complete contrast to the almost sterile commercial sitka plantation.
There's travel and accommodation advice, including how to get there by public transport and bike. This is a strength, but it does mean that one aspect is missed - the best way to see some of our pinewoods (Glen Affric, Loch Maree, and various isolate loch island refugia too small to be listed in this book) is by canoe. The canoe gives you access to islands and shores which are seldom visited, and by paddling with the silent Indian stroke you will see more wildlife than you will on foot.
The book is beautifully illustrated. There is the odd editing error (eg with some scientific names) but nothing to detract from the whole.
I hope that one day, when the efforts to restore the forest are successful, this book will be a reminder of just how close we came to losing it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fantastic book, great value for money. Already been exploringPublished 17 months ago by Mr. george Sneddon
The only comprehensive guide out there to a rather particular and specific interest, ancient Scottish pinewoods. Read morePublished 23 months ago by pattar
Would have liked to have seen better parking accesses shown : there are better parking spots nearer in some placesPublished on 11 Aug. 2014 by peter m gibson
This is a nice book, and probably unique as a guide to the remnants of the forest. Its badged as an update to the seminal work on this topic by Stevens & Carlisle in the 1950s. Read morePublished on 9 Nov. 2013 by Kindle Customer
Very pleased with this book. Came very quickly & was well packaged. It was also a very reasonable price, I saw it advertised/reviewed in the latest copy of the RSPB "Birds"... Read morePublished on 14 Aug. 2013 by Roger
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