Epping Forest, or “Effing Forest” as it’s known to the locals, is at the heart of Luke Turner’s wonderful 2019 book about sexuality, trauma, god and personal recovery.

The forest, Luke says, hums with an energy of people both enjoying the place but also getting up to things they can’t do, and being people they can’t be, in their normal lives. It’s a human landscape, and kinda always has been – in contrast to the hippified, somewhat problematic idea of ‘untouched’ woodland.

And despite all its undeniable loveliness, it’s not necessarily a place which magically ‘cures’ your ills, no matter what forest-bathing evangelists might claim.

We natter to Luke about all this, covering off grumble mags, Throbbing Gristle, Peter Lilley MP and the soullnessness of St Albans along the way.

As you may have gathered, this week’s episode features what prudes describe as ‘adult themes’, so you might want to avoid it if you’re listening with kids and don’t fancy trying to explain what a jazz mag is.

You can find Luke’s article about the pandemic and inequality of access to nature here.

Sustainababble is your friendly environment podcast, out weekly. Theme music by the legendary Dicky Moore – @dickymoo. Sustainababble logo by the splendid Arthur Stovell at Design by Mondial. Ecoguff read out by Arabella.

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