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Founded in 1919 to deal with the chronic timber shortage after the First World War, the Forestry Commission has developed from a government department preoccupied with supply into a leading environmental organisation that champions the landscape and encourages wildlife and public access. The sheer scale of the organisation between and after the wars meant that it built its own roads and bridges, constructed and supported entire villages and planted over two million acres of forest.
Published to coincide with the centenary of the Commission, British Forests examines not only its unique history but also the Commission's role in research, and the promotion of tree planting in both cities and countryside. The book features a gazetteer of the Commission's forests and beautiful botanical illustrations of trees from its pinetum at Bedgebury in Kent.