Great old trees are vital to our landscape – a new handbook helps us to understand why
'Woodman, spare that tree, touch not a single bough! In youth it sheltered me, and I’ll protect it now!”
For centuries, trees have inspired poets such as George Pope Morris. But Owen Johnson has done more than most to protect them. He has recorded the vital statistics of more than 60,000 of them, covering huge distances on foot and public transport (he does not own a car). He has just published Champion Trees of Britain and Ireland: The Tree Register Handbook. The book lists all the species that grow in the British Isles, and gives one or more “champions” for each. He indicates the areas each species flourishes, and where to look for them.