Most of us enjoy a regular stroll in our local wood, but we might not be aware of the ancient origins of our surroundings. From medieval times, woodlands were carefully managed commodities with hotly contested resources: conflicting demands from landowners, the Crown, the peasantry and local and national wood-based industries have all left their marks on today's woodland. Ian Rotherham here explains the various uses of our woods and their industries - such as coppicing, charcoal burning, basketmaking and bodging - and helps us to find the clues that can piece our woodland history together. Looking at the flowers, the trees that were once worked and the bumps in the ground can tell us about the people who worked and sometimes lived in the woods, and we can track their history from medieval times, through the age of enclosure and the decline of local industries, right up to the present.
About the Author
Ian D. Rotherham, ecologist and landscape historian, is Reader in Tourism and Environmental Change at Sheffield Hallam University. An international authority on cultural and historical aspects of landscapes, especially peat bogs and peatlands, he is the author of Peat and Peat Cutting for Shire.
Table of Contents
Introduction / What is an 'Ancient' Wood? / Woods, Parks and Forests / Worked and Working Trees / Woodland Crafts and Other Industries / Woodland Archaeology and Ecology / The Future: Re-discovering the Old Crafts / Further Reading / Places to Visit / Index