Skip Navigation

Help us bring Oliver Rackham’s unseen work to life

Oliver Rackham was the leading historian and ecologist of British woods as well as a fellow and master at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. He spent many years researching the colourful history and ecology of ancient woods and the remarkable adaptability of trees, which allowed him to write with extensive knowledge and insight and bring the history of woods to life. His writings, in turn, inspired a whole generation of ecologists, historians and conservationists. We have a lot to thank him for.

Oliver Rackham

In 1986, he decided to write a number of distinct volumes on the ancient woods of Britain. Although only one was published, he worked on several others including The Woods of the Helford River, Cornwall and Woods of South East Wales. Sadly they were not quite completed and remained unpublished at the time of his death in 2015.

The Woodland Trust has been working closely with Corpus Christi College to finish them. Now that they are finally complete we would really like to see them published and added to his extensive legacy of fascinating books so that his outstanding knowledge can be passed on to future generations.

Getting this far has been a labour of love, much on a voluntary basis, for those who worked with Oliver (pictured right, photo by Ian Nicolas). They know how valuable these publications will be, for those with a conservation interest in these beautiful areas and for those who enjoy a well-researched and written historical read.

We have now raised the necessary funds to publish 1500 copies of Woods of the Helford River and would like to do the same for Woods of South East Wales. If achieved, copies of the books will be available via the websites of the publisher, Little Toller and the Woodland Trust. If we raise more money than we need to publish Oliver Rackham’s Woods of South East Wales, we guarantee the additional funds will be used on other Woodland Trust projects.

Can you help?

   Donate now