Woods and trees are one of my core interests. I aim to explore the historical, ecological and symbolic importance they hold for people. My regional areas of interest are the remnant ancient woods of south London, known as the Great North Wood, southern England including the Sussex Weald, the South Downs, the New Forest in Hampshire, the woods of western Ireland and the mountain and lowland forests of central and eastern Europe. Phew!
I post pieces exploring our relationship with woods and trees, their conservation and wildlife.
I would encourage anyone with an interest in the places I cover to add comments and any further information you may have.
Sydenham Hill Wood
My understanding of woods was consolidated during my time working for London Wildlife Trust at Sydenham Hill Wood in south-east London. I led over 700 workdays with volunteers and over 150 events with more than 6000 attendees.
I worked at Sydenham Hill Wood across seven years, beginning as a volunteer and taking on the role of Conservation Project Officer 18 months later.
From 2012-2018 I managed a fantastic group of conservation volunteers undertaking habitat management and species monitoring, and led a varied programme of events for the public to enjoy.
Research opportunities were limited to my spare time though I did manage to write articles for local publications. The main focus I developed over my six years in post was the remnant oak trees of south London, which then initiated a personal photography project entitled oaks of London.
During my time in post we developed a larger project called the Great North Wood, which was awarded a Heritage Lottery Fund grant to support a 4-year project which runs until 2021.
The Great North Wood is south London’s ancient woodland landscape, much reduced in the past 150 years but still going strong along the clay ridge that runs between the Thames at Deptford and Selhurst.
- Oaks of London project
- New Forest photography
- The veteran oaks of Dulwich Park – Dulwich Society journal
- Białowieża, Europe’s mythical forest
- The threat to English woodlands is a challenge to our collective sense of place
- After Oaken Wood, ‘biodiversity’ has come to mean very little
- In search of Mayo’s native woodlands
- Somewhere between the woods and the water
- Why do people hate ivy?
- The mysteries of the night wood remain
- The promise of woodland
Explore my woodland archive in full here.