Meet Our Curators

Fiona Stafford

Fiona Stafford, professor of English Language and Literature, University of Oxford. Fiona is the presenter of two highly-acclaimed series for BBC Radio 3 titled The Meaning of Trees, and is the author of The Brief Life of Flowers (2018) and The Long, Long Life of Trees (2016).

The Journals of Dorothy Wordsworth

Dorothy Wordsworth’s sharp eye and passionate feeling for the small, ordinary-extraordinary details of the natural world can still help us with what (as her brother William put it) we ‘might see and notice not’.


The Cabaret of Plants by Richard Mabey

It’s hard to find a better guide through the wonders of the natural world than Richard Mabey, whose infectious enthusiasm and sense of wonder at the sheer strangeness of the botanical world are exuberantly on show in The Cabaret of Plants.


The Poetry of Trees by Harry Thomas

This pocket-sized arboretum, gathering together some of my favourite tree poems, shows just how much trees matter – and have always mattered – to people around the world.


Whispers in the Graveyard by Teresa Breslin

And who thought tales about the protective power of rowan trees belonged to a lost world of folk belief? This is a gripping children’s story grappling with urgent contemporary issues.


Fishing for Amber by Ciaran Carson

This irresistible book leads you down the garden path, from story to story, place to place, people to plants to paintings to petals to Pegasus, Proust and paradox, until you’ve forgotten entirely where you started.  The best of all modern metamorphoses.


Arboreal by Adrian Cooper

In sharing their own arboreal experiences, 41 writers reveal the astonishing variety of people’s take on trees in the twenty-first century.


John Clare By Himself

John Clare’s lifelong love of flowers, trees, birds, insects and wildlife flows through this remarkable sequence of personal prose fragments – it’s as if the great poet of rural life is chatting away and we have the privilege of listening.


The Woodlanders by Thomas Hardy

Thomas Hardy’s deep understanding of his local woodlands and those who live there means that this novel takes root in the mind, just as surely as the trees of Wessex take hold of his strong, suffering characters.


The Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank

What makes Anne Frank’s joy over horse chestnut blossom so moving is that, as the only tree she can see from the high windows of her secret hiding place, it offers a sudden, unexpected symbol of hope in the face of the darkest prospects.


The New Sylva by Gabriel Hemery and Sarah Simblett

Each page of this eye-opening, mind-enriching, beautifully illustrated book is an individual delight, each chapter a visual, verbal, very well-informed portrait of a different species of tree.