I’M afraid we’ll no be here for a few days.’ Willie looks a bit sheepish as he goes on to explain: ‘We had a bit of an accident yesterday.’ My mind races around various possibilities. Of all the operations that happen on the estate, with the possible exception of loading cattle onto trucks, felling trees is the most dangerous.
Foresters are a hardy breed and all too many of the ones I have known have carried some disfigurement with them as badges of their trade and as a permanent reminder of the need for health and safety in the workplace, even if, or rather, particularly, if your workplace happens to be 60ft up a tall beech tree.
Jock, who tended our woods when I was a child, was missing a little finger. I used to stare at it in their cottage, with hindsight probably rather rudely, as I tucked into the local delicacy, homemade tablet (pronounced ‘tarblet’, an extra-sweet form of fudge) made by his wife, Nancy, who was our nanny. He had cut a piece of timber rather too finely and pushed it through the circular blade in the sawmill. Family legend has it that my grandmother packed the severed digit in ice and drove him to the hospital, but they were unable to sew it back on.
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Escape to the country
Mulholland House, Hampstead, London NW3, proves you can create abundance and plenty in the heart of the city, says Tiffany Daneff
Keeper of the architectural flame
The eminent country-house historian celebrates his 90th birthday
Bleak are the brown hues and pincers of October, the medieval month for sowing seeds, says Amy Jeffs
The comfort of colour
When decorating kitchens, colour is now definitely on the menu, says Arabella Youens
New looks for autumn
The latest paint colours, selected by Amelia Thorpe
Lord of the dance
Poussin’s more riotous works still exhibit a balletic frozen elegance, says Matthew Dennison
Three substantial homes in the North of England reflect the wealth and taste of their former owners
90 years after it first opened, the ballroom at Claridge’s hotel has been restored to its former Art Deco glory. Jo Rodgers takes to the dance floor
The definition of slow food
In the garden
The Land Rover
Britain's greatest Masterpieces
Forests have always migrated to survive. But now they need our help to outrun climate catastrophe.
NO DEPOSIT, NO RETURN
With a 150-year-old law under threat, public lands mining faces a reckoning.
The Trees Are Talking
Pioneering research has revealed how social cooperation thrives in the forest.
Idaho Star Garnet
Brilliant colors enhance the beauty and add to the value of many of our gemstones, especially those that are clear or translucent. And I like any color… as long as it is red. For that reason, the blood-red ruby is about my favorite gemstone. And in museums around this country and in Europe I have seen carefully cut cabochons containing startling six-rayed stars that seem to slide over the surface of the stone as it is rotated in the light. It is no wonder that, for hundreds of years, the star ruby has been one of the favorite stones of royalty.
Forests – Last Stands
The soothing escapes that old-growth forests provide are probably much closer than you think. But they’re under siege
MAKE YOUR VEHICLE BUG-OUT READY
GET AWAY FROM TROUBLE FASTER WITH THESE SIMPLE TIPS.
HEAD TO WYOMING TO EXPLORE A HIDDEN GEM SANDWICHED BETWEEN TWO MOUNTAIN RANGES AND WILDERNESS AREAS.
TOO STUPID TO FAIL
How to change your internal dialogue and change your life for the better
A BRAND-NEW BATH IN A CENTURY- OLD HOUSE CALLED FOR STYLE AND PRACTICALITY.
WHAT IF? Your'e Attacked by a Wild Animal
It’s a beautiful summer day, so you decide to go for a family hike/picnic in the nearby Cleveland National Forest with your spouse and two children (ages 10 and 7).