Oliver Rackham Publication Campaign

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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.

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. Sadly it was not quite completed and remained unpublished at the time of his death in 2015.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 it. Now that it is finally complete they would really like to see it 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 this publication will be, for those with a conservation interest in this beautiful area of Cornwall and for those who enjoy a well-researched and written historical read.

£10,000 is needed in order to publish 1500 copies of the book. The Woodland Trust, the National Trust and Corpus Christi College have all made donations but £5,000 is still needed. If achieved, copies of the book will be available via the websites of the publisher, Little Toller and the Woodland Trust. If more money is raised than is needed to publish Oliver Rackham’s ‘Woods of Helford River’, the additional funds will be used to publish a second Oliver Rackham publication which focuses on the woods of South East Wales, or on other Woodland Trust projects.

Can you help?

Donate here