March 8, 2022, 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

RFS Book Club with Dr George Peterken

Renowned ecologist and author Dr George Peterken will talk about the findings of a remarkable long-term study of Lady Park Wood and how it is inspiring others.

Online event

Lady Park Wood straddles the England/Wales borders. It was set aside for ecological research by the Forestry Commission in 1944 to understand how woodland develops with minimum human intervention. It is the longest study of its kind in the UK.

We will be discussing two books co-authored by Dr Peterken and inviting your questions.

Woodland Development: A Long Term Study of Lady Park Wood, published by CABI, describes in detail how the wood has developed since 1944. It touches on issues around minimum intervention policies, near-to-nature forestry and the practicalities of rewilding.  The results have led Dr Peterken to conclude that some management is needed for wild plants and animals to thrive in most woods, even most woodland nature reserves.

Looking at the same woodland but through a different lens is Art Meets Ecology: The Arborealists in Lady Park Wood published by Sansom and Company. The Arborealists are a loose association of artists who share a love of trees. This beautiful book brings together their paintings and drawings inspired by Lady Park Wood with an ecological commentary by Dr Peterken.

This event is free for RFS members and £10.00 for non RFS members.

Dr George Peterken

Ecologist & Author

Long-term studies have been a theme of much of George’s research and research-commissioning since the 1970s. He first became involved with Lady Park Wood while working with the Nature Conservancy.
He began his career after a PhD at University College, London with a short appointment in Aberystwyth University. He then became co-ordinator of part of the International Biological Programme and then scientific officer in the Biological Records Centre.
In 1969 Dr Peterken was appointed to the Nature Conservancy's woodland management section at Monks Wood, and remained a woodland ecologist with NC and successor bodies until 1992. He spent much of his time as the senior woodland ecologist in the Chief Scientist's Team.
In 1989-1990 he took a sabbatical to study virgin forests in mainland Europe and to hold a Bullard Fellowship at Harvard University. In 1993, he went independent. For a decade he was part-time nature conservation advisor to the Forestry Commission, but was also involved in collaborative research projects, teaching, lecturing, writing and routine consultancy.
Shortly after the Millennium he decided to spend his time mainly writing a New Naturalist volume and more recently a book on Meadows – meadows being a retirement hobby!