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Tue Forests and Forest-Trees of England, so far as the present Publishers are aware, have never yet been fully described in a single volume. It is true that many able works have been published upon English Forest-Trees, and many on the separate Forests; but these are all, so to speak, isolated, and no attempt has been made to bring them all together, and give in one complete picture, a historical, legendary, and descriptive account of all the Forests and Forest-Trees of England.
These Forests are very rapidly passing away. At present few of those that were once so famous still exist. The fine Forest of Sherwood was sold in 1827; scarcely a year passes by but enclosures are made, or some Forest is disafforested; and very soon not one of the Forests will retain its primitive appearance. Hainault and Wychwood are the most recent cases of disafforesting ; and the people of London should see that Epping does not share the same fate, but is retained for the benefit of the numerous population at the east end of the great metropolis.
The present work does not profess to be more original than works dependent upon numerous authorities usually are; nor does it profess to be either very profound or scientific. It merely aims to give a pleasing, but at the same time accurate, account of our Forests and Forest-Trees.
A chapter has been added, translated from the French of M. Marny, descriptive of foreign forests, so that the contrast between them and English forests may be clearly seen.
In the first attempt at such a work, requiring so much research, and unaided by any previous undertaking of the kind, some errors and omissions have crept in ; but it is hoped that the book will be found to justify its title as a “Historical, Legendary, and Descriptive Account of English Forests and Forest-Trees."
LONDON, 1st May, 1853.