This is a book about one man’s encounter with an ancient tree, the Honywood Oak. James Canton spent two years sitting with and studying it. A colossus of a tree, it would have been a sapling when the Magna Carta was signed. Inevitably he needs to slow down in order to appreciate it fully, to tune in to its slower time frame, to connect with the ecosystem that lives around it, inside it and beneath it. He examines our long-standing dependency on oak trees, and how that has developed and morphed into myth and legend. We no longer build our houses and boats from them, use them to fuel our fires or grind their acorns into flour in times of famine; physically we don’t need them in the same way now. Or do we? ‘The Oak Papers’ is a stunning, meditative and healing book about the lessons we can learn from the natural world, if only we slow down enough to listen.