Book Reviews: The Heartbeat of Trees by Peter Wohlleben and Tithe Barns by Joseph Rogers

Peter Wolhlleben runs a forest academic in Germany after working for over twenty years in the German forestry commission.  This book leads us in depth into the growing (pun intended) interest in connecting with nature and 'forest bathing', or 'shinrin yoko' as it is termed in Japan.  I asked if I could review these two books.  I have not paid for these books and I have not been paid to write this review.  My words and opinions are my own.

In his book Peter shares his theories backed with scientific examples about how we interact with trees and how they interact with us.  He talks about how good it is for us to be in the woods, that it helps us look further than just starting at our screens.   That being outdoors in nature helps us listen better and that the more time we spend in the woods the more atuned to them we become.  Of course not all interactions with forests are good.  Peter talks about invasive species and about how people transmit alien spores around the globe.  Peter is using this book to make us think and understand how much we need to bond with nature and save our environment before it is too late.  He does not think it is too late yet, but there is some urgency in his writing.

This is a very interesting book.  It is packed full of information and written in a nice style that makes the message easy to understand.  If you are interested in our relationship with nature and/or with climate change and saving our environment then this book will be of interest to you.   I learned a lot from it.

The Heartbeart of Trees by Peter Wohlleben is published by Greystone Books.  Translated by Jane Billinghurst  

I chose to review this book on tithe barns because whilst I know what a tithe is and I know what a barn is and I had heard of tithe barns I could not have explained to you what a tithe barn was.  Thankfully Joseph explains the concept of tithe barns first thing in the book.  He does explain that whilst it was an old form of tax collection, with farmers having to give a tenth/tithe of their crops; that some barns that are called tithe barns possibly were not and some that are not called it possibly were and how time has blurred the understanding of these buildings.  These barns are ancient, many over 500 years old so they are increasingly rare.

The book is full of photographs of tithe barns that have been since demolished and also many that still exist.  Joseph takes us around the UK by country and county explaining how the tithe barns were used in different areas and how many still exist today.  I was rather proud that Leicestershire gets a good mention and that there is a tithe barn still in existence a mere six miles from where I live.  I shall have to go and visit.

This is one of those books that you might not realise you are interested in, but it turns out you are.  It is a great insight into the history of our society, our local history and the physical imprint of the tithe system that still exists today.  It is worth a read.

Tithe Barns by Joseph Rogers is published by Amberly Publishing.

Stay safe and be kind.

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