Keen to avoid a comfortable middle-aged existence, forester Chris Yarrow and his wife Anne dreamed of a countryside venture where they could be their own boss and create their own destiny. Thirty Years in Wilderness Wood tells the story of how they bought Wilderness Wood in Sussex and set about earning a living from just 63 acres, without compromising their darkest green credentials.
Thirty Years in Wilderness Wood follows the couple’s search for a wood; achieving planning permission for a house and building it, through to the trials and rewards of pursuing a range of enterprises over thirty years. Using their professional backgrounds in forestry, countryside recreation and ecology, Chris and Anne transformed their nondescript palette of chestnut coppice and young plantations into a productive and award-winning example of multi-purpose forestry.
As a commercial venture, the profitability of every activity was considered and Chris unashamedly makes his case for what he did and how he did it. He outlines the history and declining fortunes of lowland forestry, and shows how, in an era when so many lie neglected, their ancient wood was revitalised.
Thirty Years in Wilderness Wood is a thought-provoking read that challenges fashionable practices such as clearance of non-native trees. Written with a large dollop of self-deprecation, it is a down-to-earth account by professionals who have actually worked their land. Filled with hard-earned wisdom, this book will appeal to those who own a wood, or dream of ownership, as well as the general reader interested in the countryside, woodlands or forestry.