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Distributed for Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Ancient Oaks in the English Landscape

Second Edition

A lovingly thorough tribute to one of England’s great natural treasures: ancient oaks.
The ancient native oaks of England are a national treasure, beautiful and beloved. And England has more of them than the rest of Europe combined. How did it happen that, as Europe was deforested over the course of centuries, England preserved so many ancient trees? Ancient Oaks in the English Landscape answers that question, going back to the Norman Conquest of 1066. As Aljos Farjon explains, the Norman nobility created royal forests and parks where only they could hunt game—and where, to protect that game, it was forbidden to cut trees. Thus, centuries before the modern conservation movement, these now-ancient trees were preserved.
Bringing together history and science, Farjon tells this compelling story in the new edition of Ancient Oaks in the English Landscape, illustrating it throughout with stunning photographs, maps of modern oak populations, and new research. The result is a beautiful, fitting celebration of England’s ancient oaks and the biodiversity they represent and foster.

356 pages | 190 color plates, 6 maps | 9 x 10 3/4 | © 2022

Biological Sciences: Natural History

History: British and Irish History

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Table of Contents

Foreword 2
Introduction 3
Chapter 1 6
The life of an oak
Chapter 2 24
The age of ancient oaks
Chapter 3 50
General distribution of ancient and veteran oaks
Chapter 4 66
Distribution of ancient and veteran oaks in England
explained: Deer parks
Chapter 5 120
Distribution of ancient and veteran oaks in
England explained: Royal Forests, chases and
other historical connections
Chapter 6 172
Ancient oaks in Europe
Chapter 7 186
Why England has most of the ancient oaks
Chapter 8 200
Ancient oaks in a pasture woodland context
Chapter 9 218
The most important oak sites
Chapter 10 278
The biodiversity of ancient oaks
Chapter 11 302
Conservation of ancient oaks
References 326
Glossary 335
List of illustrations and tables 339
Acknowledgements 345
Index 351

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