Lecture Details and Reviews

The wood for the trees

3rd January, 2017 Prof Richard Fortey
An account of the of the natural history and human history of a small piece of Lambridge Wood on the outskirts of Henley. For nearly 1000 years it was part of the manor of Grey’s Court, and earned its keep by providing wood products. It saw the rise and fall of the furniture industry, after which beech was converted into tent pegs and brush backs. In common with other Chiltern woods all commercial activity has ceased for more than sixty years, which poses questions for the survival of a most important part of our local heritage. Richard will explain how the ecology of beech woods works, and how the ‘natural’ environment is actually a product of long-term human activity. Prof Richard Fortey worked at the Natural History Museum in London for forty years as an expert on ancient life. He has lived in Henley for more than thirty years. Apart from numerous scientific writings he has published eight books for the general reader, on geology and and natural history. More recently he has made three TV series for BBC4. He is a fellow of The Royal Society and The Royal Society of Literature.

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