The Great Wood (Paperback)
The Great Wood of Caledon – the historic native forest of Highland Scotland – has a reputation as potent and misleading as the wolves that ruled it. The popular image is of an impassable, sun-snuffing shroud, a Highlands-wide jungle infested by wolf, lynx, bear, beaver, wild white cattle, wild boar, and wilder painted men. Jim Crumley shines a light into the darker corners of the Great Wood, to re-evaluate some of the questionable elements of its reputation, and to assess the possibilities of its partial resurrection into something like a national forest. The book threads a path among relict strongholds of native woodland, beginning with a soliloquy by the Fortingall Yew, the one tree in Scotland that can say of the hey-day of the Great Wood 5,000 years ago: 'I was there.' The journey is enriched by vivid wildlife encounters, a passionate and poetic account that binds the slow dereliction of the past to an optimistic future.
Jim Crumley was born and grew up in Dundee, and now lives in Stirlingshire. He has written over twenty books and has made documentaries for BBC Radio 4, Radio Scotland and Wildlife on One.