Book reviews

Oak: fine timber in 100 years

    Download this review in PDF of Oak: fine timber in 100 years, Size: 282 Kb   OAK: FINE TIMBER IN 100 YEARS We are particularly pleased to announce the launch of a ground breaking French book on Oak silviculture, translated by Bede Howell, which has been mainly funded by Woodland Heritage and published...

01-06-2014 Hits:4677 Book Reviews

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Continuous Cover Management of Woodlands: A b…

    Download this review in PDF of Continuous Cover Management of Woodlands: A brief introduction, Size: 163 Kb   CONTINUOUS COVER MANAGEMENT OF WOODLANDS: A BRIEF INTRODUCTION BY RODNEY HELLIWELL (AUTHOR & PUBLISHER) SPONSORED BY WOODLAND HERITAGE Rodney Helliwell's latest small book is a very clear and practical explanation of continuous cover management. In fact, short of going in...

18-03-2014 Hits:3304 Book Reviews

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The British Oak by Archie Miles

    Download this review in PDF of The British Oak, Size: 85 Kb   THE BRITISH OAK BY ARCHIE MILES Woodland Heritage is proud to support this stunning 'Oak' book by Archie Miles Published by Constable & Robinson Ltd on 10 Oct 2013 £35.00 A major new work celebrating the Oak tree in Britain – exploring the history, culture...

01-11-2013 Hits:3324 Book Reviews

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Woodsman by Ben Law

      Download this review in PDF of Woodsman, Size: 118 Kb WOODSMAN BY BEN LAW Living in a Wood in the 21st Century Published by Collins on 28 Mar 2013 £14.99 “Ben Law’s house is my favourite Grand Design” Kevin McCloud Ben Law has lived as a woodsman in Prickly Nut Wood for over 20 years...

18-03-2013 Hits:3075 Book Reviews

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The Silviculture of Trees used in British For…

      Download this review in PDF of The Silviculture of Trees used in British Forestry, 2nd Edition, Size: 100 Kb This handbook provides a detailed guide to the biological suitability to different sites and soils for all important native trees and the most extensively used exotics. British woodlands and forests are often...

18-03-2013 Hits:3294 Book Reviews

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Ben Law's 'Roundwood Timber Framing'

      Download this review in PDF of Roundwood Timber Framing, Size: 55 Kb East Meon in Hampshire provided an appropriate venue to celebrate both building with roundwood timber and the launch of Ben Law’s new book - Roundwood Timber Framing.East Meon features some of England’s oldest standing timber-framed buildings some of which...

11-08-2010 Hits:4413 Book Reviews

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Wytham Woods Oxford's Ecological Laboratory

    Download PDF review of Wytham Woods Oxford's Ecological Laboratory, Size: 45.35 Kb Woodland Owners, Managers, Environmental Conservators and Naturalists will be delighted to discover that Oxford University Press has recently published a book on Wytham Woods written by Oxford University staff and other associated researchers. The contents of this book...

11-08-2010 Hits:3801 Book Reviews

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Windsor Chairmaking by James Mursell

This book is the first new book about the making and design of Windsor chairs for over 10 years. It has been written with a broad readership in mind. It is aimed both at existing Windsor chairmakers and also at those who are perhaps contemplating making their first chair. Detailed...

02-03-2009 Hits:3150 Book Reviews

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"The Art of Ian Norbury"

Book Review "The Art of Ian Norbury" Foreword by Simon Channing-Williams Ian Norbury was introduced to me when I was looking for someone to do some carvings of birds for a film I was producing. We had a thoroughly enjoyable meeting, shared a glass or two of wine and Ian lit a pipe. It’s been like that...

31-01-2008 Hits:3573 Book Reviews

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"Remarkable Trees of the World"

Dr Tim Cutler reviews our choice of book - and tells us about his beloved Physic Garden In 1996 Thomas Pakenham enthralled us with his "Meetings with Remarkable Trees". This was a new kind of book which owed little to conventional botany. The criteria for selection and inclusion of the trees...

31-01-2008 Hits:3683 Book Reviews

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"The Red Squirrel - Redressing The Wrong…

The Red SquirrelRedressing The Wrong By Charles Dutton MICFor The red squirrel was once common in all wooded areas of Britain and Ireland. I can recall a time when seeing them scurrying among the trees on my farm in Co Meath was an almost everyday occurrence. It is now however fifteen years...

31-01-2008 Hits:3371 Book Reviews

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Making the Grade by Ivor Davies & Guy Wat…

MAKING THE GRADE A guide to appearance grading UK grown hardwood timber Authors: Ivor Davies & Guy Watt I am proud to be part of the UK forest industry. Sitting on my desk is the new hardwood appearance-grading guide, which compares more than favourably with the equivalent French and American guides and considering the size of their resource...

31-01-2008 Hits:3890 Book Reviews

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"Champion Trees of Britain & Ireland…

Book Review by Peter Savill CHAMPION TREES OF BRITAIN & IRELAND Owen Johnson (editor). Champion trees of Britain and Ireland. Whittet Books Ltd, Hill Farm, Stonham Rd, Cotton, Stowmarket, Suffolk IP14 4RQ. 2003. Pp 192. 30 x21 cm. ISBN 1-873580-61-4. Price £25, or £17.50 (excluding postage) to Woodland Heritage members. This book lists historic, large, rare and remarkable trees...

31-01-2008 Hits:3458 Book Reviews

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"The Red Squirrel - Redressing The Wrong"

The Red Squirrel
Redressing The Wrong
By Charles Dutton MICFor

The red squirrel was once common in all wooded areas of Britain and Ireland. I can recall a time when seeing them scurrying among the trees on my farm in Co Meath was an almost everyday occurrence. It is now however fifteen years since I last sighted one.

In an astonishingly short space of time the red has become an endangered species while the North American import, the bigger and stronger grey, has taken over more and more of the red’s natural habitat.

When the grey first became a common sight, people were fascinated by its boldness, agility and adaptability and whole TV wildlife programmes were devoted to admiring the ability of this pest to raid bird feeders and avail of unusual feeding opportunities.

Sadly, the public were, and to a large extent still are, unaware of the steady disappearance of our native red squirrel as the grey pushes it further and further towards extinction. The European Squirrel Initiative or ESI have already produced two excellent publications highlighting the dramatic spread of the alien grey throughout Britain and Ireland and the threat this pest poses to our woodland resource.

With this new publication "The Red Squirrel, Redressing The Wrong", they demonstrate effectively just how serious the situation is and what must be done to protect our remaining pockets of woodland where the red still survives.

Research has shown that if the current situation continues the red squirrel will be extinct in Britain and Ireland within 20 years. This is a major conservation issue and Charles Dutton has done an excellent job in presenting the facts clearly and comprehensively with attractive pictures, illustrations and charts allowing for easy assimilation of the information.

In the introduction the reader is asked the question "What do you feel when you see a red squirrel running about in the tree canopy? Perhaps a sense that one’s daily life has been enriched and that the forest is in balance and in good heart."

Keeping our forests in balance and rich in bio-diversity is perhaps what concerns us most and this book illustrates, in well researched detail, the rather stark choices facing us. If we do not act quickly, then our native red squirrel will soon be a memory relived only through the pages of Beatrix Potter’s "Tales of Squirrel Nutkin".

The book begins with details of the red squirrel’s distribution throughout Europe. Maps illustrating the distribution of the red in both 1940 and 2002 show an alarming loss of territory with the 2002 map demonstrating how the grey squirrel has overrun most of England and Wales in the intervening period.

The advance of the grey has not just affected red squirrel populations; since Cecil Rhodes introduced the grey to South Africa, it has been responsible for environmental disruption and the University of Natal has recorded songbird losses of up to 40%.

Current conservation projects throughout Britain are detailed including data from the Isle of Wight, which is the only large area in England totally protected from natural invasion by grey squirrels. Clocaenog forest is a large Sitka spruce forest and probably contains the largest remaining population of red squirrels in Wales, however these are now stated to be at risk as greys have entered the forest. Road edges had been planted with beech for landscape and amenity purposes but were then removed as they were providing access corridors for the greys. Based on this kind of experience, recommendations are made for woodland management and planting to further assist the survival of our remaining reds.

The final chapters then deal with means of assisting re-colonisation and the creation of red squirrel reserves. These also contain essential information on means of reintroducing the red and its further management and aftercare.

Once the red has been driven out of an area of woodland, the costs of reintroduction are high and it is suggested that great savings could be made if local conservation groups could be used to help or even run sites.

"The Red Squirrel, Redressing The Wrong" is essential reading for anyone who cares about the future of this attractive and endearing native mammal. We need to create far greater public awareness if we are to seriously address the problem and this can only be achieved by first bringing the plight of the red to the public’s attention.

This book does just that. Hopefully our decision makers in government throughout Europe will take note and act before it is too late.

Published by the European Squirrel Initiative. ISBN No. 0-9547576-0-3.

Joe Barry farms in Co Meath, Ireland
He also writes for a number of publications on forestry and environmental issues.

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