An English Rainforest

Nestling among the barren wilderness of Dartmoor is one of three rare wild woods. Piles Copse is a woodland mainly comprising pedunculate oak Quercus robur. The trees, festooned with mosses and lichens, are rich in biodiversity. It is an English rainforest, and a relic of woodland which once covered much of the hilly region. Read More

Best replacement tree species to mitigate the loss of ash in Britain

As the spread of ash dieback across Britain becomes noticeable, there is a peak in interest about the consequences of ash dieback, with landowners and conservationists seeking good advice about what tree species is best to plant to help nature recover. Here’s a simply summary for landowners, based of peer-reviewed research. Read More

Rewilding Dartmoor

For my short story in Arboreal (Little Toller Books, 2016) I decided to write from the perspective of an old man looking back on the transformation of Dartmoor due to the withdrawal of farming subsidies and application of visionary environmental policies. I drew a couple of sketches that didn’t make it into the book. Read More

Pacific northwest forest ecosystem in Scotland

As part of the research for my book, The New Sylva, I visited recently a remarkable place in Scotland where many so-called exotic coniferous species are not only thriving but are forming a functioning forest ecosystem similar to that found in the Pacific northwest of America. There are … Read More