'Mosses and Liverworts of Britain and Ireland: a field guide.' by the British Bryological Society

Our top reads for National Read a Book Day

6 September 2022
Heart of England Forest

This National Read a Book Day, members of the Forest team share their current reads and all time favourite books and the reasons why they love them.

'The Hidden Life of Trees' by Peter Wohlleben

“For a long time, I have found the symbiotic relationships between plants, fungi and wildlife fascinating. The way nature works together forming mutually beneficial relationships is something I am always excited to learn more about. This book promises to give an insight to the perceived social networks of trees and how they can interact with one another, even share nutrients. This was something I had not previously put much thought to... for a long time I have been aware of the relationships formed between trees and fungi, but not so much with trees and other trees. I am excited to get stuck in and learn from Peter Wohlleben's life experiences and observations as a forester.”
Tasha Cain, Biodiversity Officer
Book cover of 'The Hidden Life of Trees' by Peter Wohlleben
'How to read water' by Tristan Gooley

“I am addicted to learning and I absolutely adore the natural world. I spend hours outside, drawing, writing and reading. I am currently mid way through this fascinating book, the knowledge that Gooley has on these bodies of water has really made me look differently at the puddles I walk in or around in the Forest, the streams that trickle through Dorothy's Wood, and of course the River Avon. I was bought this book as a gift as I have a huge love and admiration for the outdoors, and I am enjoying it far more than I anticipated. If you are looking for an insightful book that is written with passion, this should be your next read.”
Julie, Marketing and Communications Officer
Our Marketing and Communications Officer, Julie, sitting on a branch over the river reading a book
'Countryside' by Oliver Rackham

“History of the Countryside is a great reference book to dip in and out of. It explores the natural and man-made features of the English and Welsh countryside and how they've changed over time. It is most interesting to me to see how many ponds existed in the landscape, which reached a peak of around 800,000 in 1880. In this area of the Midlands, you could expect to find around 4-8 historic ponds per square mile.”
Imogen Rutter, Biodiversity Officer
Our Wetlands Biodiversity Officer, Imogen, smiling holding her book of choice
'Duncton Wood' by William Horwood

“I loved the Duncton Wood series of books when I was growing up. A cross between Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings mixed with UK wildlife! They were thick books too – 730 pages in this first one!”
Beth Brook, CEO
Book cover of 'Duncton Wood' by William Horwood
'Breath' by James Nestor

“I think that everyone should read this book. It has taught me that we have been breathing wrong for centuries! When I am out with Charlie, our border collie, I now practice breathing. We go up through Ralph’s wood and I breathe in 6 seconds through my nose, hold for 7 seconds, breathe out through my mouth for 8 seconds. This method goes back thousands of years. Being in the Forest, the air is cooler, and it really gets into your lungs and diaphragm. All I can say is I feel better and I sleep better. Buy the book, walk through the Forest and practice breathing – it is great!”
Mark Waterson, Mooring and Caravan Park Manager
Our Mooring and Caravan Park Manager relaxing on a bench and reading his copy of 'Breath' by James Nestor
'Mosses and Liverworts of Britain and Ireland: a field guide.' by the British Bryological Society.

“I find bryophytes (the mosses, liverworts and hornworts) to be really interesting and a great challenge to try and identify; this book has been indispensable for me when doing this, so much so that my copy is only just about holding together after being soaked in the Lake District rain one too many times!”
Sam Macvie, Biodiversity Officer
Book cover of Mosses and Liverworts of Britain and Ireland: a field guide
'The Overstory' by Richard Powers

“This is my favourite book on trees and it was recommended by a friend. It has different characters and different stories, but one theme: trees. I found this book powerful, engaging and it really brought home the wonder of trees. Stick with this piece of environmental fiction – it is worth it!”
Ros Anscombe, Community Partnerships Officer
Our Community Partnerships Officer holding her copy of 'The Overstory' by Richard Powers

Your book choice 

Please share your current book choice with us on social media by tagging us in your favourite reading spot in the Forest.

We have so many peaceful places where you can sit and silence the noise, so you can enjoy a moment of tranquillity and get lost in the pages of your book for a little while. Plan your visit here.