Challenges the view that the lowlands of Central and Western Europe would revert to their prehistoric state of closed forest systems if free from human intervention. This text uses examples from pollen analyses and studies on tree species, and tests hypothesis of herbivore governance of vegetation.
This book explores how a consideration of time and history can improve the practice of restoration. There is a past of restoration, as well as past assumptions about restoration, and such assumptions have political and social implications. This book aims to put the dimension of time back into our understanding of environmental efforts.
In this comprehensive book, the critical components of the European landscape – forest, parkland, and other grazed landscapes with trees are addressed. The book considers the history of grazed treed landscapes, of large grazing herbivores in Europe, and the implications of the past in shaping our environment today and in the future. Debates on the types of anciently grazed landscapes in Europe, and what they tell us about past and present ecology, have been especially topical and controversial recently. This treatment brings the current discussions and the latest research to a much wider audience. The book breaks new ground in broadening the scope of wood-pasture and woodland research to address sites and ecologies that have previously been overlooked but which hold potential keys to understanding landscape dynamics. Eminent contributors, including Oliver Rackham and Frans Vera, present a text which addresses the importance of history in understanding the past landscape, and the relevance of historical ecology and landscape studies in providing a future vision.
The Middle Ages was a critical and formative time for Western approaches to our natural surroundings.ãeeAn Environmental History of the Middle Ages is a unique and unprecedented cultural survey of attitudes towards the environment during this period. Humankindâe(tm)s relationship with the environment shifted gradually over time from a predominantly adversarial approach to something more overtly collaborative, until a series of ecological crises in the late Middle Ages. With the advent of shattering events such as the Great Famine and the Black Death, considered efflorescences of the climate downturn known as the Little Ice Age that is comparable to our present global warming predicament, medieval people began to think of and relate to their natural environment in new and more nuanced ways. They now were made to be acutely aware of the consequences of human impacts upon the environment, anticipating the cyclical, "new ecology" approach of the modern world. Exploring the entire medieval period from 500 to 1500, and ranging across the whole of Europe, from England and Spain to the Baltic and Eastern Europe, John Aberth focuses his study on three key areas: the natural elements of air, water, and earth; the forest; and wild and domestic animals. Through this multi-faceted lens, An Environmental History of the Middle Ages sheds fascinating new light on the medieval environmental mindset. It will be essential reading for students, scholars and all those interested in the Middle Ages
The New Forest in southern England is an area of mixed vegetation set aside as a Royal Hunting Forest in the eleventh century and since that time subjected to heavy grazing pressure from large herbivores. The entire structure of the Forest and its various communities has been developed under this continued history ofheavy grazing, with the estab lishment of a series of vegetational systems unique within the whole of Europe. The effects of large herbivores in the structuring of this eco system in the past, and the pressure of grazing continuing to this day, have in turn a profound influence, indeed the dominating influence, on the whole ecological functioning of the Forest system. Because of its assemblage of unique vegetation types, the area is clearly of tremendous ecological interest in its own right. In addition, its long history of heavy grazing ani the continued intense herbivore pressure make the New Forest an ideal study-site for evaluation of both short-term and long term effects of grazing upon temperate ecosystems. The N ew Forest (some 37,500 ha in total area) currently supports a population of approximately 2,500 wild deer (red, roe, sika and fallow); in addition 3,500 ponies and 2,000 domestic cattle are pastured on the Forest under Common Rights.