October 2016

Bringing together the finest and best-known names in contemporary writing, a new anthology that explores the many strands of what woodlands mean to us. A landmark publication, it will appeal widely to many readers.

There was public outcry in 2010 when the Conservative Government announced plans to sell much of the Public Forest, consisting of some 635,000-acres and including royal forests and ancient woods. Such a widespread, emotional response lead to a Government U-turn. It also tells us just how important woodlands still are too us, even if they are no longer part of our ever-busy twenty-first century lives. No other landscape matches the complexity and variety of life in a woodland, both above and below ground. They are given names on maps, shape our language, and feed our imagination.

There was a public outcry in 2010 when the government announced plans to sell off much of the public forest, consisting of some 635,000 acres including royal forests and ancient woods. Such a widespread and emotional response led to a U-turn, it also tells us just how important woodlands still are, even if they are no longer part of our everyday life. No other landscape matches the variety of life in a woodland; both above and below ground. They are given names on our maps, shape our language, feed our imagination. Two centuries ago, when woodlands were still at the heart of the parish economy, trees, hedgerows, spinneys and copses paid their way providing fuel, thatch, bedding, timber, woodland pasture for pigs, medicine from bark and wild harvests of nuts and berries. This role declined in the 19th and 20th centuries and the arrival of cheap coal, imported timber, the felling and grubbing up of whole ancient woodlands, and the policy to plant conifer plantations meant that the small deciduous woodlands either disappeared or became irrelevant to local industry and communities.This landmark anthology reminds us why woodlands matter and combines essays from a variety of important contributors .

Common Ground and Little Toller plan to revive public interest in woodlands with this anthology, combining essays from a variety of contributors – novelists, botanists, artists, architects, foresters – to explore why these landscapes still matter and mean so much.

Authors: Ali Smith, Simon Armitage, Simon Leatherdale, Alan Garner, Alec Finlay, David Nash, Fiona Stafford, Sara Maitland, George Peterken, Helen Dunmore, Jen Hadfield, Philip Marsden, Nina Lyon, Paul Kingsnorth, Paul Evans, Richard Skelton, Tobias Jones, Germaine Greer, Fiona Reynolds, Jay Griffiths, Richard Mabey, Peter Marren, Philip Hoare, Deborah Wilenski, Jim Crumley, Rob Penn, Neil Sinden, Piers Taylor, Madeleine Bunting, Kathleen Jamie, William Boyd, Gabriel Hemery, Tim Dee, Evie Wyld, Will Ashon, Seán Lysaght, Robin Walter.

Artist’s include Andy Goldworthy, David Nash and Ellie Davies (cover and plates).

Edited by Adrian Cooper

Published October 2016 BY Little Toller Books