Ben Law has lived as a woodsman in Prickly Nut Wood for over 20 years. His authentic, incredible sense of the land and the wildlife, and his respect for age-old traditions and how to sustain them offers a wonderful, inviting insight into the life and character of Prickly Nut Wood. Having travelled to Papua New Guinea and the Amazon, observing age-old techniques for living in, working in and preserving forests and woodland, Ben Law felt compelled to return home and apply his learning to a 400-year-old plot of woodland near where he grew up - Prickly Nut Wood.
This is the story of how he came to know and love his woodland, how he lived off the land, how he coppiced and hedged and created charcoal, how he puddled and built shelter, and finally how he carved out his famous, characterful woodland home that Kevin McCloud has cited as his favourite ever Grand Design. And it’s the story of the wood itself - how it lives and breathes and affects all those who encounter it, and how it’s developed over the 20 incredible years Ben has shared in its lifespan. It’s an incredibly transporting tale that will make you long to hear the dawn chorus, and appreciate the beauty of Britain’s pockets of woodland.
The description in the publishers summary makes this book out to sound MUCH better than it really is. If like me you are after a book regarding how a man can carve a life out of building his own home and living of the land by means of hunting and fishing and all that good stuff we think we want to do but really we just live vicariously through other people then this is not the book for you. perhaps instead look in to Norman Dietz "One man's wilderness" which was actually just that.
But if you are interested in a book regarding how one, no "a village" should live self sustainable in a possible future without oil (even during the current glut) and wish to hear how much Ben Law has an appreciation for the nature surrounding him then this is the book for you! better yet record your self saying coppices trees and play that back for 4 hrs and 10 min.
Amazing, I really enjoyed this book 10/10 all around. Highly suggest you pick this up and give it a listen.
I was expecting a more typical biography with lots of coverage of Ben's early life but this is more of a description of what living in a wood is like and Ben's views on the World in general.
Absolutely fascinating stuff if you have any interest at all in sustainable living and the future of mankind.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Considering Ben Law's knowledge and passion for the subject, he reads his book without conviction to the point of boredom. Buy the real book and be inspired.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
After seeing this man on grand designs , i was interested when i heard he was bring out a book , i'm glad i bought it , go's into great about his work living in the wood and his roll in looking after the area and trying to make a living off the land , also tells the story about being involved and building his house for grand designs , a great listen for anyone interested in his story from grand designs or about work go's into managing a woodland
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
This is an inspirational, albeit somewhat idealistic account of the benefits of a woodland agrarian lifestyle. There are many important lessons here for all of us but the author and narrator is a little irritating at times.
I did enjoy this most thoughtful book and have implemented a lot of his advice. Thank you.
Would you consider the audio edition of Woodsman to be better than the print version?
Have not read the printed version yet, but may well do so as it will make a great reference book
Who was your favorite character and why?
Its a monolog of his work and endurance
What does Ben Law bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?
Tone, tempo and its the author reading the book which is a good thing in his case
Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
Made me think about life and our impact upon our surroundings and how out of tune with nature we have become
Any additional comments?
Anyone who has the slightest leaning towards self preservation, a will to do better, to work with nature and to improve the quality of a life, that we only have one of, should read this book.
This is a lovely book. It is thought provoking yet not too scholarly.I am so glad you wrote it.