Forest Policies and Social Change in England by Sylvie Nail

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By Sylvie Nail

Forestry has been witness to a few dramatic alterations lately, with a number of Western international locations now relocating clear of the normal version of relating to forests only as assets of wooden. really those international locations are more and more spotting their forests as multi-purpose assets with roles which pass a ways past basic economics. during this cutting edge ebook, Sylvie Nail makes use of England as a case learn to discover the relationships among forests, society and public perceptions, elevating very important questions on woodland coverage and administration either now and sooner or later.

Adopting a sociological method of woodland coverage and administration, the ebook discusses the present validity of the 2 ideas underlying forestry because the heart a long time: first, that forestry may still purely exist while no greater use of the land might be made, and moment, that forestry itself will be ecocnomic. the writer stresses how values and perceptions form rules, and conversely how regulations can alter perceptions, and likewise how regulations can fail in the event that they don't take perceptions under consideration. She concludes that a number of the concerns dealing with English forestry within the 21st century – from rest, future health and amenity provision, via schooling and rural in addition to city regeneration, to biodiversity conservation – move well past either nationwide borders and the scope of forestry. certainly forestry within the 21st century appears much less approximately planting and handling bushes than approximately being a vector and a replicate of social change.

This novel synthesis offers a beneficial source for complex scholars and researchers from all components of common source stories, together with these attracted to social heritage, socio-economics, cultural geography and environmental psychology, in addition to these learning panorama ecology, environmental background, coverage research and normal source administration.

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From 1758 to 1835, the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce awarded prizes to landowners who had planted great amounts of acorns and trees. Among the trees planted other than oak were alder, plane, elm and Lombardy poplar [James 1981: 168]. The efforts were beginning to bear fruit at the beginning of the 19th century: it is estimated that by 1835, well over 50 million trees had been planted. The multifarious benefits of tree, and in particular of oak planting, are epitomised in an illustration published in a book by Percival Lewis on the New Forest: The shield and arms [hanging from an oak tree] indicate that it is a Royal Forest; timber production is shown by the timber feller with his axe and the felled trees; hunting is implied by the deer and two hounds while ship building is represented by the ship under construction [James 1981: 178].

It is not clear who the original model for Robin Hood was, but according to recent historians, he seems to have lived in the 1260s–1280s, might have been a supporter of Simon de Montfort and might have taken to the woods as a result of the latter’s defeat. William Langland refers to him in his Piers Plowman in 1377, but the fact that the first edition of the Lytell Geste of Robyn Hode appeared at the end of the 15th century, during or just after the War of the Roses makes his story ‘a product of a time of usurpation and chronic rebellion’ [Schama 1995: 149], and his character a passionate and nostalgic conservative who yearns for the restoration of a just, personal monarchy and who wants a social order dislocated by rogues and parvenus to be set right in its proper ranks, stations and portions [Schama 1995: 150].

In the New Forest, 6,000 acres were enclosed in 1698 with a view to planting, following the Great Fire of London and the Dutch Wars, but that was not followed up efficiently enough to improve the situation significantly. 24 1 Preliminary Chapter: Woodlands as Landscapes of Power The New Forest was particularly exposed to depletions for the navy, since ‘it lay virtually on the doorstep of the royal dockyards at Portsmouth’ [Muir 2005: 163]. Seventeenth-century improvers’ works calculated costs and returns in order to convince their readers of the interest of planting for the Navy, but this was not sufficient to reverse the trend, nor were declarations such as Captain John Smith’s in 1670 convincing enough: there was a time when England had been overgrown with woods and it had been beneficial to grub them up.

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