Sentry Page Protection

Wytham Woods - Oxford's Ecological Laboratory


Woodland Owners, Managers, Environmental Conservators and Naturalists will be delighted to discover that Oxford University Press has recently published a book on Wytham Woods written by Oxford University staff and other associated researchers. The contents of this book have been nearly 70 years in the making since the 1000 acre woods were gifted to Oxford University by Raymond ffennel in 1942. It charts the history of the woods, the researchers, changes in management policy and the known outcomes from various research programmes that have been undertaken in the woods on trees, mammals, birds, insects and other associated life forms.

I was excited at the prospect of learning from a reliable, evidence-based source about the outcomes that have stemmed from the adoption of various woodland management practices.

The book is written clearly by various contributors and has been ably edited to provide an easy read with an excellent and extensive reference section provided to help the enthusiastic reader delve even deeper into published research outcomes. The book provides much in the way of “joined up” thinking about the behaviour, interaction and dependency that exists between the various life forms to be found in the woods.

I made contact with editor Peter Savill and co-author Nigel Fisher to arrange a visit to Wytham Woods in order that I might see first hand the subject matter of the book. The University freely grants and issues permits to bona fide researchers and the public alike to visit the woods with very little restriction other than respecting the requirements of ongoing research taking place in the woodland.

The book is published by OUP priced at £55.00 in hardback form [263 pages - 250 x 170]. Students and those persons operating on a limited budget will be pleased to discover that the book should also be published in paperback in early 2011 hopefully at a much reduced price. This book is liable to run to many reprints with updated editions anticipated over the years and is likely to become recommended reading for various forestry and environmental conservation courses.

Ken Hume

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