From coastal to alpine, tropical to temperate, coniferous to deciduous, forest trees not only support the wildlife that lives under their canopies, but humankind, too. We could not survive without the cooling effect that trees have on the planet. Yet for thousands of years, we have logged forest trees and tapped their resin, we have hunted and foraged among them, found sources of medicine in their leaves and bark, and created sacred groves under their canopies. In some places, we have cleared so much land that it is possible the trees will never grow back. Habitats have been lost as global temperatures have continued to rise. But, despite the environmental damage, there is hope, too. Some areas of abandoned farmland have been reclaimed by trees. And if we look to the Mayan ruins in Mexico, we see how forests can bury even a society's grandest buildings. Given the opportunity, forests won't just outlive us, but our civilisations, too. In these pages, Kieron Connolly surveys forests from all around the globe, from deforestation in the Amazon to the reforestation of Californian redwoods, from England's New Forest to Germany's Black Forest, telling the stories of humankind's ancient links to the trees and the flora and fauna found among them. Ranging from ecology to history, from the ravaged to the rewilded, and featuring more than 230 striking photographs, Forests is a fascinating exploration of woodland life around the world.
Kieron Connolly is a graduate in history from Edinburgh University and in film from the National Film & Television School. An author and journalist, he has written for the Mail on Sunday, the Daily Mail and The Times. His books include Dark History of Hollywood, Abandoned Places, Abandoned Civilizations, Abandoned Castles, and Bloody History of America. He lives in London.