A Wood of One’s Own
Ruth Pavey, Ruth Pavey
‘Delightful… Pavey writes with warmth and spirit, and brings this space to life’ Penelope Lively
‘Captivating and grounded… If this book was not as much a pleasure to write as it is to read, I’ll eat my hat and gardening glove’ Observer
After years spent living amid the thrum of London, Ruth Pavey yearned to reconnect with the British countryside and she endeavoured to realise her long-held dream of planting a wood.
Touring to the West Country in the late 1990s, Pavey found herself in the Somerset Levels. On seeing this expanse of reclaimed land under its wide, soft skies she was struck by its beauty and set-out to plant a wood, tree by tree. She bought four acres, and over the years transformed them into a haven where woodland plants and creatures could flourish an emblem of enduring life in a changeable world.
A Wood of One’s Own is the story of how she grew to understand and then shape this derelict land into an enduring legacy a verdant landscape rich with wildlife. Interwoven with Pavey’s candid descriptions of the practical challenges she faced are forays into the Levels’ local history, as well as thoughtful portraits of its inhabitants both past and present.
Accompanied throughout by the author’s evocative hand-drawn illustrations, A Wood of One’s Own is a lyrical, beguiling and inspiring story; a potent reminder of nature’s delicate balance, and its comforting and abiding presence.
'Practical and full of helpful advice which has been artfully baked-in throughout. If someone asks you what you'd like for Christmas or a birthday don't hesitate to reply, A Wood of One's Own' * Woodlands.co.uk * 'A lyrical story of desire and determination, soft and gentle, warm and wise in a wicked world' * Camden New Journal * 'Draws together childhood memories, local history... and literary penumbra' * Sunday Telegraph * 'A lovely story - a super book' -- Steve Yabsley * BBC Radio Bristol and Somerset * 'A delightful account... with intriguing digressions into local history and culture. [Pavey] writes with warmth and spirit, and brings this space to life in all its detail of plants, trees and wildlife' -- Penelope Lively 'Captivating... If this book was not as much a pleasure to write as it is to read, I'll eat my hat and gardening glove... Pavey's unassuming memoir celebrates the imperfections of rural life and the virtues of spontaneity... the non-bravura style attractively illustrated with Pavey's black-and-white sketches makes this book a winner' -- Kate Kellaway * Observer * 'Pavey's love for her small patch of land shimmers off the page [in this] narrative of warmth, honesty and great spirit made all the more beautiful by Pavey's own lively and accomplished drawings... this lovely book is itself a gift encouraging country-dweller and townie alike to marvel at the infinite possibilities at the heart of a single tree' * The Daily Mail, Book of the Week * '[In planting her wood] the satisfactions are many... her book is a gentle, generous extension of that... one all her readers can share in' * The Lady * 'So beguiling... Pavey's writing is everywhere amiable' * The Times Literary Supplement *
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