Sunday 22 May 2011

International Day for Biological Diversity

The United Nations proclaimed May 22 The International Day for Biological Diversity to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues. This year is International Year of the Forests, and the theme for the International Day for Biological Diversity is Forest Biodiversity. Forests cover 30% of the land surface of the earth and hold around 80% of the species of plants and animals that live on the landmasses. So they're very special places.

Woodlanders, edited by Ian Edwards and published by Saraband Books is a wonderful celebration of the value of the UK's forests. It is a big, beautifully produced book (printed using 100% vegetable based inks on paper from carefully managed forests). The book looks at how people can live in harmony with woodlands, foraging for fuel and food, building homes using sustainably sourced wood, using woodland products to make crafts and running community woodlands, where a whole area of forest is managed by and for local people.

The book is full of inspiring case studies, whether it is individuals who forage for their own food, artists inspired by woodlands or small scale companies developing their business using sustainably harvested woodland products. There's a lot of practical advice, from recipes for using your foraged foods (and guidelines on how to forage in a sustaiable manner) to how to build a composting toilet. Everything is illustrated with beautiful photos and plenty of UK tree species are described in between the case studies and practical advice.

It is an inspiring book for anyone who loves woodlands, specially those who would like to look into developing a more intimate relationship with their local woodland. it is also a very timely book, given the uncertain future of UK forests. The Government may seem to have decided not to sell off the nation's forests (yet) but they have recently given the go ahead to a quarry extension that threatens the existence of a vital piece of ancient woodland in Kent and are considering a high speed rail link between London and Birmingham that threatens the futures of 21 ancient forests across England. You can find out more about the threats to the UKs forests and how you can help to preserve these vital habitats at the Woodland Trust website here.

Read this book and be inspired about the importance of our forests! Then join the Woodland Trust and help to secure their future!

I received this book as a prize in a competition on Twitter.

As ever, text in red contains hyperlinks where you can find out more.

1 comment:

Rommel Fernandes said...

Thanks for the review. Need to check this book.
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