The Forest Saga
Long a beautiful feature of the English landscape, William Seymour explains how forests have played an important part in the economic history of Great Britain.
The story of our forests may be said to begin with the final retreat of the ice northwards, which occurred between 12000 and 10000 B.C. In the Late-Glacial period, plants typical of the Arctic tundra and dwarf willows and birches gradually took advantage of the warming soil. At the time of what is called the Pre-Boreal period, England was still joined to the Continent - the Thames was a tributary of the Rhine; and across the southern part of what is now the North Sea, birches, willows and what became known as the Scots pine found their way to England and spread to Scotland and Ireland.