The ancient woods of south-east Wales are treasures of a rich landscape. Describing the geology, history and flora of many individual woods, The Ancient Woods of South-East Wales recounts how these special places have altered or been altered and how they may change in future.
With understated humour and his unusual insights, Oliver Rackham reveals their histories, in this new book, published in collaboration with The Woodland Trust. He was drawn to oddities and mysteries of trees and landscapes: bell-pits, a strange dwarf oakwood, towering gnarled beeches, and the famous rare Tintern spurge. 'Dark on the horizon', he writes, 'is the high ridge of Coed Gwent, Wentwood', and he explores it with fascination.
After Rackham's untimely death in 2015, unfinished manuscripts came to light including the chapters for this volume. With its publication we explore a place he studied across thirty years and celebrate an outstanding botanical and landscape writer.
Oliver Rackham (1939-2015) was the pre-eminent botanist of his generation, whose work focused on trees, woodland and landscape. He was the author of many books including The History of the Countryside. His books The Ash Tree and The Ancient Woods of the Helford River are both published by Little Toller in the Oliver Rackham Library.
"An authentic genius."
– Peter Marren
– Monty Don