'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.
Ruth Pavey currently works at Tufnell Park Primary School, London, and is the Gardening Correspondent for the Ham & High (Hampstead and Highgate Express). She attended the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, Oxford and a selection of her illustrated works are included in this, her first book. Pavey has reviewed books and written features for publications including the Observer, Guardian, New Statesman, Crafts, and the Garden and was a contributor to BBC Radio 4's former arts programme, Kaleidoscope.