The Roger Deakin archive at the University of East Anglia is a treasure trove of materials and memorabilia from the rich life of one of the greatest nature writers of the last century. The complete archive extends for 23 linear metres, but here are a just a few of our favourite items from the catalogue:

1. London International Festival of Whistling — proposal, 1996

2. Typescript and notes of RD’s interview with Ronald Blythe on allotments; notes mentioning bluebells

3. Notes on penguins and notes of an interview with the Keeper of the Penguin Pool at London Zoo, 1998

4. Print-outs of mascots designed by Rene Lalique for classic Citroen cars (for which RD had a passion), 2001

5. Poem: ‘For the Love of Cornish Apples’, 2001

6. Drafts and final copies of a brochure written by RD for the Solid Fuel Advisory Service, ‘Living With a Real Fire’, 1987

7. Draft for a New Yorker article on well-worn garments, ‘A Whiff of Peat’, 2001

8. ‘Hermes in a White Van’ — a letter to the village postman of Mellis, Frank Gooderham, on his retirement, 2003

9. Assorted copies of community newspaper the Waveney Clarion, which RD helped write, plan and distribute, 1973-80

1o. A hand-printed copy of Tree Ghosts by Alice Oswald, 2005

11. The 2002 book proposal for Touching Wood, which became Wildwood

12. A proposal for a series of books on trees, 1990

13. Sketches of lampshade designs (made from wood), undated

14. Swimwear, 1996: RD’s black Speedo swimming costume

15. A summons issued by plaintiff RD on the defendant William A. Battell concerning the obstruction of Cowpasture Lane, 1981

16. Photographic negative of RD with crow, guinea pigs, etc — undated

17. A letter of welcome to RD from the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (‘We hope your plans for migration to Australia are progressing well…), 2000

18. A ring-binder containing an email on Cyprus oranges

19. A research file with cuttings on Apple Day, anti-road protests, Abergavenny carving, Wendell Berry, Bristol trees, fruit-fly flight, feltmakers, Barry Lopez, parakeets and silkworms

2o. A press cutting showing RD with the goat given to him as a leaving present by the pupils he taught at Diss Grammar School, 1978