In 2011 a groundswell of public opinion halted the large scale sell-oﬀ of the forests, demonstrating the extent to which we value our wooded landscapes, even if our modern lives seldom take us to these important places. Britain’s woodlands occupy much less land than other European countries and our woods and trees are under threat – whether from development, from poor management or from simply not understanding the vital role that trees play in our lives – as witnessed by the recent large-scale felling of city trees in Sheffield.
Trees and woods oﬀer great potential to rebuilding our wider relationship with nature, reinforcing local identity and sustaining wildlife. Tere is a need to plant millions of trees to lock up carbon to ameliorate the eﬀects of climate change, to help shade our towns and cities and bring shelter and beauty to places.
Now the forester and campaigner Robin Walter has created a new guide on how we can best live with and value our trees, from individual specimens to vast forests, as well as celebrating the many people and organisations working to make a positive diﬀerence. This Common Ground handbook is an important and timely successor to the early books In a Nutshell, Community Orchards Handbook and the anthology Arboreal.
Common Ground is a charity based in west Dorset which plays a unique role linking nature and culture, believing that community involvement and celebration is the best starting point for improving our relationship with the natural world. Founded in 1983, its many achievements include Apple Day, England in Particular and the research for Richard Mabey’s Flora Britannica.
Robin Walter is a writer, forester, arborist, environmental campaigner and musician. He worked as a woodland officer for the Woodland Trust for many years and contributed to Arboreal, Little Toller’s 2016 anthology of woodland writing.