The lungs of the planet - a term frequently used to describe the World's forests. Yet woodlands are far more than simply factories that pump sweet Oxygen into the air and sequester Carbon Dioxide from it: they make up the Earth's most exciting and biodiverse realms; true living metropolises bustling with an array of life. A single British Sessile Oak can harbour over 280 insect species, and hundreds of epiphytic lichens, mosses and ferns aside. Standing alone in a forest - be it temperate or tropical - affords a particularly emphatic feeling that pervades in no other landscape. A German word describes this well : Waldeinsamkeit describes that calm, contemplative atmosphere when alone in a wood. It's tragic, then, that we've reduced the extent of such a majestic ecosystem to less than 12% its former range in Britain. These images strive to convey something of the beauty of those pockets that remain.

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