Part memoir, part fascinating account of Ireland’s native woodlands - an inspiring story of hope.
My passion for woodland came about almost by accident. A piece of land near my house came up for sale where, in a forgotten corner, an area of mature native trees borders a fast-flowing river. I fell in love with the place and began to spend more and more time here, experiencing all its moods and seasons, discovering its wildlife secrets and learning how to manage it properly....
Native woodland is one of the most valuable resources for biodiversity in Ireland’s wet climate. Yet Ireland has the lowest forest cover of any part of Europe, with the surviving native woodland covering a tiny area of the country. Ireland lost the majority of its ancient forest centuries ago, but now is when we need it most to help solve the climate crisis.
This audiobook is a celebration of Ireland’s native woodlands blended with a personal account of learning to manage a single small wood over a typical year. Along the way, it uncovers many ancient roles of trees in Irish life - the place names, magical properties, traditional medicines; it examines lost skills such as coppicing and it explores new uses of woodlands for forest schools, foraging, rewilding and capturing carbon. Above all, Richard Nairn’s infectious enthusiasm and scientific rigour will make us all pay attention to what nature can teach us.