This introductory chapter outlines the history of the Wytham Woods in Oxfordshire. It provides a historical account of major events that helped shape the Woods into its current state. It explains the history and development of the woodlands across Britain beginning with the last glaciation period to its transition into semi-natural woodland. It briefly describes the history of ownership of the Woods and highlights the University of Oxford's acquisition of the land from Raymond ffennell. It examines the Woods' management today by enumerating the University's objectives in maintaining conservation and to help in understanding human activity interaction with natural processes.
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