Ash trees at dawn in Cumbria

One of my more recent co-authored research articles has been selected as ‘Editor’s Choice’ in The Applied Ecologist’s Blog . The paper, Maintaining ecosystem properties after loss of ash in Great Britain by Louise Hill et al, focusses on the importance of using plant functional traits to predict potential changes to an ecosystem, following the loss of a key species.Continue Reading

The New Sylva by Gabriel Hemery & Sarah Simblet

‘Beautiful, useful and inspirational.’ BBC Wildlife, Book of the Month

‘A magisterial work that combines art and history with science.’ The Countryman

‘We dig this … a book that proclaims its virtues with quiet dignity.’ Sunday Times

An excellent successor to Sylva, well written and full of interesting information.’ Oliver Rackham, Spectator

‘Exquisite.’ BBC Countrylife

‘Gorgeous, precious and important.’ Resurgence & EcologistContinue Reading

Books about plant hunters

To celebrate the lives of plant hunters, like John Jeffrey, here I share some of my favourite books on botany, botanical exploration, and the often extraordinary lives of the plant hunter. Think more Indiana Jones than shy retiring pansies, as these men and women travelled the world in search of plants, valuable for their beauty, medicines, timber, smell, and any number of other benefits.Continue Reading

silvology defined

Silvology: redefining the biological science for the study of forests With co-author Jens Peter Skovsgaard I propose a formal definition for a term that describes the scientific study of forests and woods: silvology.   In contrast to other disciplines no terminology has developed to distinguish the practice of silviculture fromContinue Reading

Evelyn200

I’m really pleased to be taking part in the Evelyn200 project by giving a talk on 5th June at Deptford, London. Evelyn200 is a project to plant 200 trees in the Evelyn ward in Lewisham, and to celebrate 200 years since the publication of John Evelyn’s diaries. Evelyn wrote aboutContinue Reading

The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane

2017 has been a year with rich foraging for those with an interest in tree and nature books. In my shortlist, titles include The Lost Words, The Hidden Life of Trees, Oak and Ash and Thorn, and many more beautiful and inspiring books besides. Please note, this post contains affiliateContinue Reading

Tree Fractals video

My writing about art and math in nature are always among my most popular posts, and I’ve meant to write about fractals for a while because they fascinate me. This time of year the bare branches of deciduous trees display their full beauty and fascinating growth patterns. Did you knowContinue Reading

Feral Practice (Artist: Marcus Coates)

I am delighted to be invited to take part in a fascinating event on 16th May in London where the audience will bring deep-rooted personal questions and thorny problems to be deliberated and fathomed via the wisdom of the woods. Tickets are now available.Continue Reading

Young birch tree in a treeshelter

There are 60 or more trees in Britain that are native, meaning tree species, subspecies or hybrids that have established themselves without the hand of man. Yet only 35 are widespread meaning that the palette is actually quite limited, particularly when the full range of benefits from woodlands are considered, together with threats from environmental change.Continue Reading