The Ash and The Beech by Richard Mabey
The Drama of Woodland Change

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From ash die-back to the Great Storm of 1987 to Dutch elm disease, our much-loved woodlands seem to be under constant threat from a procession of natural challenges. Just when we need trees most, to help combat global warming and to provide places of retreat for us and our wildlife, they seem at greatest peril. But these dangers force us to reconsider the narrative we construct about trees and the roles we press on them.

In this now classic book, Richard Mabey looks at how, for more than a thousand years, we have appropriated and humanised trees, turning them into arboreal pets, status symbols, expressions of fashionable beauty - anything rather than allow them lives of their own. And in the poetic and provocative style he has made his signature, Mabey argues that respecting trees' independence and ancient powers of survival may be the wisest response to their current crises.

Originally published with title Beechcombings, this updated edition includes a new foreword and afterword by the author.


About Richard Mabey

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Richard Mabey is the father figure of modern nature writing in the UK. Since 1972 he has written some 40 influential books, including the prize-winning Nature Cure, Gilbert White: a Biography, and Flora Britannica. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and Vice-President of the Open Spaces Society. He spent the first half of his life amongst the Chiltern beechwoods, and now lives in Norfolk in a house surrounded by ash trees.
Published June 6, 2013 by Vintage Digital. 304 pages
Genres: Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math, Sports & Outdoors. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Ash and The Beech

The Bookbag

Mabey expands on this topic by examining the history of British trees, particularly the Beech and how it has managed to survive and adapt over the centuries despite threats from war, felling, disease and storms.

Jun 08 2013 | Read Full Review of The Ash and The Beech: The Dr...

Irish Times

Mabey offers an informative history of the English relationship with trees, looking at the influence of writers from John Evelyn, in the 17th century, through Gilbert White, in the 18th, to Kenneth Grahame, author of The Wind in the Willows and creator of the notion of the wild wood that has so t...

Jun 15 2013 | Read Full Review of The Ash and The Beech: The Dr...

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