October 3, 2022

Woodland inspiration with Zoe Gilbert in the Weald of Kent

Unlocking Landscapes is back! In May 2022 I met with author Zoe Gilbert in Ham Street Woods National Nature Reserve on the Kent/Sussex border. Zoe is an award winning writer and she sounds very much at home in the woods. It was a real pleasure to spend the day with her and I'm very grateful for her time.

In March 2022 Zoe published her latest book, Mischief Acts (you can buy it here). The book is inspired by an historic wooded landscape in south London known as the Great North Wood. It's been covered in a couple of other podcasts for Unlocking Landscape so please see the links below. I love the book and as someone who knows parts of the landscape she has focused on, I can say for sure that she has nailed it!

In this episode we cover a lot of ground:


  • What inspires Zoe to visit woods and write fiction inspired by them
  • Public access to woodlands in the pandemic
  • The complications around public perceptions of woodlands
  • Mischief in the woods and National Parks
  • 'Pics or it didn't happen': The importance not being observed all the time (social media)
  • Contiguousness of woodland
  • Bison being reintroduced to English woods
  • The future of woodlands
  • Prioritising the conservation of woodlands in a time of extremes
  • The importance of local landscapes


Links to things we mentioned for more info:

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