Sunday 13 July 2008

holding tight

Roger Deakin, the author of Waterlog and Wildwood, died in August 2006. Fans of his work will be fascinated by the latest Granta which contains extracts from his notebooks. (Notes from Walnut Tree Farm, the Suffolk ruin he moved to in 1969, will be published in October.) In one entry Deakin recalls the moment, aged 17, when he heard that his father had died.

'That might actually have been the moment that made me into a conservationist ... I didn't want to lose anything more. I had lost such a big part of my life, I needed to compensate by holding on tightly to everything else.'

In another entry the desire to conserve has become a passion for change.

'Why write? A writer needs a strong passion to change things, not just to reflect or report on them as they are. Mine is to promote a feeling for the importance of trees through a greater understanding of them, so that people don't just think of trees, as they mostly do now, but of each individual tree, and each kind of tree.'

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