Nobody sees and understands woodland better than Ray Mears. With deep natural history knowledge and practical woodcraft skills, gained over a lifetime of learning from the world’s last remaining indigenous peoples, Ray offers a different way to experience our wooded landscapes. He challenges the old concepts. He looks to our ancestors and shows how man’s hand in shaping woodland is critical. We are not separate from nature, we just need to ensure that our interactions have a positive impact. With the emphasis on interaction, British Woodland is structured by usage. We learn that sycamore and clematis are among the best woods for burning, pine and oak help us navigate, and hawthorn and beech have edible leaves. Rope can be made from willow, utensils and tools from hazel, and historically, weapons were made from yew and wych elm. With Ray as our guide, encouraging this aboriginal sense of connection to individual trees, our appreciation of wooded landscapes will change. We can learn how to live inclusively in nature, for our own wellbeing and enjoyment, and also for the future of our planet.
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