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Though most of us have enjoyed strolling through local woods, we might not be aware of the ancient – and often complex – origins of our surroundings. From medieval times, woodlands were carefully managed commodities with hotly contested resources: conflicting demands from landowners, the Crown, the peasantry and local and national wood-based industries have all left their marks on today's woodland. Ian Rotherham here explains the various uses of our woods and their industries – such as coppicing, charcoal burning, basketmaking and bodging – and helps us to find the clues that can piece our woodland history together.
- What is an 'Ancient' Wood?
- Woods, Parks and Forests
- Worked and Working Trees
- Woodland Crafts and Other Industries
- Woodland Archaeology and Ecology
- The Future: Re-discovering the Old Crafts
- Further Reading
- Places to Visit
Ian D. Rotherham, ecologist and landscape historian, is Reader in Tourism and Environmental Change at Sheffield Hallam University. An international authority on cultural and historical aspects of landscapes, especially peat bogs and peatlands, he also wrote Peat and Peat Cutting for Shire.