Oliver Rackham was the foremost scholar of ancient woodlands and the history of the British countryside. His stylish and popular books inspired a new generation of naturalists and ecologists to study their local woods and reinterpret the present in terms of their history and usage.
Oliver Rackham was taken ill at a college dinner last February. He was rushed to Papworth Hospital, where he died two days later from heart failure, at the age of 75. His funeral on 3rd March, in the chapel of Corpus Christi, Cambridge, was packed with friends and admirers. There are many tributes to him online. My own obituary of him, published in The Independent on 28th February, is also online on the newspaper’s website.