The Heart of the Woods


by Menmuir, Wyl | Non-fiction; Geography/Nature
Published 06/06/2024 by Quarto Publishing PLC (Aurum) in the United Kingdom
Hardback | 336 pages

SKU: '9780711289246 Categories: ,


Just as a parent leaves a legacy to their child, a tree leaves a legacy to its surroundings. A deep and explorative companion piece to the Roger Deakin Award-winning The Draw of The Sea.

Throughout history, trees have determined the tools we use, the boats we build, the stories we tell about the world and ourselves, the songs we sing, and some of our most important rituals. As such, our lives are intertwined with those of the trees and woodlands around us.

In this journey deep into the woods, Wyl Menmuir travels the length and breadth of Britain and Ireland to meet the people who plant trees, the ecologists who study them, those who shape beautiful objects and tools from wood, and those who use them to help others.

Wyl also explores how our relationship with trees is enduring, now and in the future – what we get out of spending time around trees, the ways in which our relationship with them has changed over time, and the ways in which our future is interconnected with theirs.

Written in close collaboration with makers, crafters, bodgers, and woodsmen and women in order to better understand the woods they know so well, the joys and frustrations of working with a living material, and the stories of their craft and skills, The Heart of The Woods will delight anyone who enjoys walking among the trees, and anyone who, when lost, has found themselves in the woods.

Chapters include:
WOODLAND PLANTER: A woodland in becoming and an ancient yew grove on the border of North Wales and England
RITUAL WEAVER: Willow coffin making in Cornwall
WOODLORE GATHERER: Science among the trees at Wytham Woods, Oxfordshire
HEARTWOOD CARVER: Among the bodgers in a field outside Cambridge
BOAT BUILDER: A woodland community in the heart of Glasgow’s former docklands
LANDSCAPE SHAPER: Re-wilding the Scottish Highlands and an organised trespass in Devon
WISH WEARER: The clootie well at Munlochy on The Black Isle, Scottish Highlands, a family tree on Bodmin Moor, Cornwall, and the tree at Sycamore Gap, Northumbria
FOREST BATHER: Swimming at Swallowship Pool, Devil’s Water, and Letah Woods Northumberland
MYTH WALKER: Walks in the fictional woods at Wenlock Edge, Shropshire
WAY FOLLOWER: Traditional carpentry in Takayama, Japan
FIRE LIGHTER: The stories we find among the flames and embers, Ennistymon, Ireland
SOUND CREATOR: A pub on Ireland’s west coast and a guitar-builder in North Wales
APPLE WAILER: Wassailing in Cornwall
TREE WORSHIPPER: An ancient yew grove in North Wales