The Wood: The Life & Times of Cockshutt Wood (Paperback)John Lewis-Stempel (author)
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Longlisted for the Wainwright Golden Beer Book Prize 2018
Cockshutt is a particular wood - three and half acres of mixed woodland in south west Herefordshire - but it stands as exemplar for all the small woods of England.
For four years John Lewis-Stempel managed the wood. He coppiced the trees and raised cows and pigs who roamed free there.
This is the diary of the last year, by which time he had come to know it from the bottom of its beech roots to the tip of its oaks, and to know all the animals that lived there - the fox, the pheasants, the wood mice, the tawny owl - and where the best bluebells grew.
For many fauna and flora, woods like Cockshutt are the last refuge. It proves a sanctuary for John too.
To read The Wood is to be amongst its trees as the seasons change, following an easy path until, suddenly the view is broken by a screen of leaves, or your foot catches on a root, or a bird startles overhead.
Lyrical, informative, steeped in poetry and folklore, it is both very real and very magical.
Described by Country Life as 'one of the best nature-writers of his generation' John Lewis-Stempel's ability to understand and translate what is lyrical, human and unknowable about our landscape makes his nature writing second to none. A BBC Radio 4 'Book of the Week', The Wood combines historical knowledge with minute and detailed observation to create a narrative which is both a deeply personal story of a particular woodland and a recognition of the importance of such places in many lives, as areas of sanctuary, safety and contemplation.
Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
Number of pages: 304
Weight: 211 g
Dimensions: 198 x 127 x 18 mm
'It is a pleasure to be in the company of a man who is so attuned to his woody world ... He is good at sketching nature, fixing a vivid image in the mind's eye of a reader ... Lewis-Stempel has rightly won himself the reputation as being among our best nature writers ... The Wood is an entertaining, illuminating, well-turned read' - The Times
'John Lewis-Stempel is the hottest nature writer around.' - Spectator
'This is countryside writing crackling with vitality. I savoured every month spent in this exquisite sylvan zoo. And - the hallmark of a great read - I learned a lot.' - Nicholas Crane
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Firstly, thank you to the publishers for a review copy.
It is fair to say that I have never read any nature / countryside books before so I really did not know what to expect from it.
However, I really enjoyed this... More
“A monthly exploration of wonder”
Once again John Lewis-Stempel has written a beautiful piece of art. His monthly accounts of the life within Cockshutt wood are lyrical, detailed and fascinating. Read it through-out the year as a sort-of monthly diary... More
“Nature writing at it intimate best. Outstanding!”
The standard of nature writing over recent years has just got better and better, we are so fortunate to have so many great nature writers in the UK and twice winner of the Wainwright Prize for Nature Writing. (2015... More
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