Notes from Walnut Tree Farm, By Roger Deakin

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The Independent Culture

Deakin's nature was not a peaceful place. As pungent as woodsmoke on the winter air or a “waving sea of cow-parsley” near his Suffolk home, this selection of diaries by the much-missed author of Wildwood often finds blood amid the beauty he observed so well.

From blackthorn hedges as the Saxon “barbed wire” and a fox “strangled around the waist by a wire snare” to the tussle of oak against gale as Nato warplanes flash overhead, his supremely evocative writing never loses touch with the struggle for life. Dense with feeling, free of mush, this last harvest from a keen eye and a fine mind reveals the depth of our loss.