A century ago woodlands were at the heart of daily life. Trees and hedgerows, copses and spinneys provided wood-fuel, thatch and bedding, woodland pasture for pigs and cattle, medicine from tree bark and a wild harvest of nuts and fruit for the home. But the role of woodlands has been in decline in the last two centuries, drifting ever further from our modern lives. Yet there is no other landscape in the British Isles that matches the complexity and variety of life in a woodland, above and below ground.And while sheltering wildlife, woods continue to enrich our language, feed our imagination and still have the power to transform us, literally and metaphorically. Woodlands have not only inspired folktales, music, novels, visual art and poetry, they are also finding new uses in healthcare and as outdoor classrooms.Arboreal is a landmark publication of new writing from woodlands across the UK and beyond. In memory of the great historical ecologist Oliver Rackham, the book gathers contributions from a variety of voices – novelists, teachers, poets, botanists, artists, architects and foresters – to explore why woods matter and mean so much.