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New Perspectives on People and Forests

The aim of this book is to elucidate the role of forests as part of a landscape in the life of people. Most landscapes today are cultural landscapes that are influenced by human activity and that in turn have a profound effect on our understanding of and identification with a place. The book proposes that a better understanding of the bond between people and forests as integrated part of a landscape may be helpful in landscape planning, and may contribute to the discussion of changes in forest cover which has been motivated by land use changes, rural development and the global climate debate. To this end, people's perception of forest landscapes, the reasons for different perceptions, and future perspectives are discussed. Given the wide range of forest landscapes, and cultural perspectives which exist across the world, the book focuses on Europe as a test case to explore the various relationships between society, culture, forests and landscapes. It looks at historical evidence of the impacts of people on forests and vice versa, explores the current factors affecting people's physical and emotional comfort in forest landscapes, and looks ahead to how changes in forest cover may alter the present relationships of people to forests. Drawing together a diverse literature and combining the expertise of natural and social scientists, this book will form a valuable reference for students and researchers working in the fields of landscape ecology and landscape architecture, geography, social science, environmental psychology or environmental history. It will also be of interest to researchers, government agencies and practitioners with an interest in issues such as sustainable forest management, sustainable tourism, reserve management, urban planning and environmental interpretation.
Product Details

Table of Contents

Preface Content About the authors Contributors PART I 1 Introduction - The crooked timber of humanity Dainis Dauksta 2 Forests in landscapes - The myth of untouched wilderness Eva Ritter 2.1 People and forests in prehistoric times 2.1.1 Hunter-gatherers in Europe 2.1.2 The mid-Holocene elm decline 2.1.3 The Great Transition 2.1.4 Early agricultural impacts on forests 2.2 Forest development in historical times 2.2.1 The great deforestation of the Ancient World 2.2.2 Impacts on forests in Northern and Central Europe 2.2.3 Forest protection and forest expansion 2.3 Conclusion 3 Overcoming Physicophobia - Forests as the sacred source of our human origins Roy Jackson 3.1 The forest as nothing more than useful 3.2 Rousseau: Friend of the forest 3.2.1 The demystification of the forest 3.2.2 The "Savage Man" 3.3 Nietzsche and the sacredness of nature 3.3.1 Nietzsche's criticism of modernity 3.3.2 Nietzsche's "religious" experience 3.4 Conclusion PART II 4 Royal forests - Hunting and other forest use in Medieval England Della Hooke 4.1 Forests as game reserves 4.1.1 The location of forests 4.1.2 Forest rights and administration 4.2 Medieval hunting 4.2.1 Anglo-Saxon hunting and game reserves 4.2.2 Medieval hunting methods 4.2.3 Hunting iconography in medieval literature 4.3 The use of other forest resources 4.3.1 Forest pasture 4.3.2 Other forest products 4.4 The decline of the forests 4.5 Hunting in post-medieval times 4.6 Conclusion 5 Forests as commons - Changing traditions and governance in Europe Christopher Short 5.1 Introduction to the commons 5.2 History of forests as commons in Europe 5.2.1 Northwestern Europe and the Alps 5.2.2 Southern Europe 5.2.3 United Kingdom 5.3 How the role and use of forests is changing 5.4 The relationship between people and forest commons 5.5 Conclusion 6 New forest owners - Small scale forestry and changes in forest ownership Aine Ni Dhubhain 6.1 What is small-scale forestry? 6.2 Characteristics of small-scale forests 6.3 Owners of small-scale forests 6.3.1 Ownership structure 6.3.2 Objectives of small-scale forest owners 6.4 Nature of small-scale forests 6.5 Consequences of the changing ownership structure 6.5.1 Forest fragmentation 6.5.2 Recreation and access 6.5.3 Timber production 6.5.4 Nature conservation 6.6 Conclusion 7 Forest and recreation - New functions of afforestation as seen in Denmark Carla K. Smink 7.1 Forest recreation: a policy perspective 7.2 Forest use in Denmark 7.3 Afforestation: creation of recreation opportunities 7.4 Conclusion PART III 8 From post to pillar - The development and persistence of an arboreal metaphor Dainis Dauksta 8.1 The wooden post in prehistory and the growth of symbols 8.1.1 Timber circles 8.1.2 Celtic and La Tene sites 8.2 The layering of connected symbols 8.2.1 The anthropomorphic tree 8.2.2 The lopped tree, the axe and the thunder god 8.2.3 The Maypole 8.3 The Classical column 8.4 Two modern vestiges of the sacred pillar 8.5 Conclusion 9 Landscape painting and the forest - The influence of cultural factors in the depiction of trees and forests Dainis Dauksta 9.1 Medieval symbolic and factual landscapes 9.1.1 Symbols of Christ, crucifixion and redemption 9.1.2 Perspective, nature and classical mythology 9.1.3 Hunting, forestry and country life 9.2 Poetic landscapes as concept 9.3 New symbolic and factual landscapes 9.4 Modern transcendentalism and symbolism 9.4.1 David Jones; a coalescence of ancient themes 9.4.2 Modern symbolism: irony, the sacred and the secular 9.5 Conclusion 10 Space and place - Popular perceptions of forests Carl Griffin 10.1 Space and place 10.1.1 A range of perceptions, a range of perspectives 10.1.2 Understanding popular perceptions of forests 10.2 Forests in the landscape and the popular imagination 10.2.1 Changing meanings, changing contexts 10.2.2 Forests as places apart 10.3 The cultural distinctiveness of forests 10.3.1 Floral and faunal cultures 10.3.2 Everyday cultures 10.4 Conclusions: persistences and reimaginings 11 Materiality and identity - Forests, trees and senses of belonging Owain Jones 11.1 Introduction 11.2 Identity 11.3 Forests, identity and place 11.3.1 Forests as material places of becoming 11.3.2 Forests of places of (sensed) dwelling 11.4 Forests and practices of identities 11.4.1 Global sense of identity 11.4.2 National sense of identity 11.4.3 Regional sense of identity 11.4.4 Local and individual sense of identity 11.5 Complex and contested identities 11.5.1 Forests as spaces of otherness 11.5.2 Forests as places to lose identity 11.5.3 Forests as places to find identity 11.5.4 Forests: Gender and identity 11.6 Conclusion 12 Definition and concepts - The etymology and use of the concepts forests and landscape Hanna Byskov Ovesen and Kirsten Krogh Hansen 12.1 The use of concepts 12.2 Forest 12.2.1 Etymology 12.2.2 Present use 12.3 Landscape 12.3.1 Etymology 12.3.2 Present use 12.4 Conclusion PART IV 13 Tree use and landscape changes - Development of a woodland area in Sweden Marten Aronsson and Eva Ritter 13.1 The area of Brabygden 13.2 Tree species in the Brabygden area 13.2.1 The natural tree vegetation 13.2.2 The function and use of tree species 13.3 Human impact on forests, trees and the landscape 13.3.1 Grazing and browsing 13.3.2 Forest fires and slash-and-burn cultivation 13.3.3 Tar distillation and charcoal production 13.3.4 Pollards and leaf-fodder harvesting 13.3.5 Population growth 13.4 Landscape development during medieval times 13.5 Landscape development since the 18th century 13.5.1 Forest description and forest functions 13.5.2 Landscape development 13.5.3 Land us changes during the 20th century 13.6 Some thoughts about the future 14 Forest landscapes in Europe - Visual characteristics and the role of arboriculture Eva Ritter 14.1 Landscape perception and analysis 14.1.1 Landscape perception and preferences 14.1.2 Concepts of landscape analysis 14.2 Visual landscape characteristics 14.2.1 Degree of openness 14.2.2 Complexity and contrast 14.3 Tree use and landscape development 14.4 Aesthetics in landscape management 14.5 Conclusion PART V 15 Conclusions - Towards a symbiotic relationship Eva Ritter and Dainis Dauksta 15.1 Contradicting forest values 15.2 Changing attitudes and relationships 15.3 Future perspectives Index


From the reviews: "The book is the exploration of the cultural, biological, spiritual, economic, and emotional components of the forested landscape of northern Europe from the earliest records of interactions between humans and forests to the present day. ... This volume should certainly be considered as part of the literature of landscape ecology, as it considers throughout the interactions between humans, forests, and forested landscapes. ... For those with a humanistic or philosophical bent, it is likely a worthwhile read ... ." (Ralph E. J. Boerner, Landscape Ecology, Vol. 27, 2012)

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