“ASH” – A celebration at the eleventh hour!

Discover a new monograph by writer & photographer Archie Miles

A new title from author, Archie Miles, “ASH” looks at every aspect of the tree: its visual manifestations as a tree of woodland, pasture, hedgerow, riverside, mountain, parkland and street; raising ash woods and the many different uses of the timber, its cultural significance in place names, folklore, myth and superstition; its inspirational importance for artists, poets and writers; historical landmarks – famous trees past and present and all their fascinating stories; and, of course, the issues arising from the inevitable spread of ash dieback.

Archie with “Ash” book at the old ash pollard below his home in the Lodon Valley, Herefordshire. The tree features on page 25 of the book.

Within the next twenty years, there is every chance that we will lose 99% of the ash trees from the British landscape as ash dieback sweeps the land, but those that do manage to avoid Chalara (as it is still familiarly known) will very likely succumb to the next lethal invasion – emerald ash borer – a beetle that has already killed more than 150 million ash trees in America. The unfolding scenario is extremely bleak, with many ash dominant landscapes being changed out of all recognition, the fine balance of ash-reliant ecologies thrown into disarray, not to mention the logistical and financial nightmares of dealing with millions of dead and dying trees.

Archie can just about remember what the British landscape looked like with the presence of large elm trees prior to the onslaught of Dutch elm disease in the 1970s, but very few records reveal the lost beauty of those elm-rich landscapes. Spurred on by this knowledge, he has produced a monograph about the ash tree in Britain before we arrive at a post-ash point in time where nobody can quite remember what Britain once looked like with an abundance of ash trees.

The main thrust behind the concept of “ASH” was to create a complete overview of the ash tree’s significance: botanically, ecologically, culturally, economically and above all aesthetically, showing what a beautiful contribution the ash makes in all its manifestations to so many different landscapes. The book is an authoritative and entertaining text with a broad appeal, lavish pictorial content and high production values.

Writer and photographer Archie Miles has been producing books about trees for the last twenty years, but with all of his previous mainstream publishers showing little interest in an Ash book he decided to go out on his own and find financial backers to make his passionate conviction a reality. The Woodland Trust and the Association of AONBs recognised the significant and timely nature of his project and provided the necessary funding. As a result Archie has taken on every aspect of the project – creating the book, art directing the design, overseeing the printing, publishing under his imprint of Pearson Bark Books and now marketing and distributing the finished books.

“ASH” is a large format hardback book (300 x 250mm, 216pp), 250 colour and monochrome illustrations, printed on a 170gsm FSC accredited paper.

RRP is £30.00, but currently, a special offer of £24.00 (inc. p&p) is available to retail buyers. Trade discounts are also available upon request.

All enquiries should be sent to archiemiles@btinternet.com whereupon an invoice will be generated and books dispatched upon receipt of payment.

Join us for a new online talk from Tuesday 24 November at 7.00 pm and discover the story behind the book as Archive shares a rare insight into a cornerstone of the UK landscape.

Watch the talk here