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Local Places, Global Processes (Paperback)

Histories of Environmental Change in Britain and Beyond

Edited by Peter Coates, Edited by David Moon, Edited by Paul Warde
Imprint: Windgather Press
Pages: 272
ISBN: 9781909686939
Published: 29th February 2016
Casemate UK Academic


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We live in an age of unprecedented environmental change: global, interconnected and universal. Yet though our lives are inextricably connected to global processes, and increasingly mobile, we still live in particular places. Our perceptions of change, and what kind of change might be for good or ill, are shaped by the interaction of localised experience and the wider forces of transformation. Local Places, Global Processes examines how these relationships have been shaped in Britain over time in three ways. First, through essays addressing influential ways of understanding and debating questions of ‘the state of nature’. These are complemented by case studies on conservation, landscape change and management, and how perceptions of environmental change have emerged or been discarded over time. Chapters also draw on a series of site-based workshops that brought together historians, landscape managers and artists to discuss and reflect on particular sites: Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire, owned by the National Trust and the first British nature reserve; the Quantock Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Somerset, England’s first AONB and a landscape enriched by Romantic association; and the landscape of Kielder Water and Forest, a land of superlatives in Northumberland in north-eastern England – the largest planted forest and artificial lake in northern Europe. The multi-disciplinary approach draws together the exchanges, artworks and writing assembled at these workshops and afterwards. This opens up how being in a place, and engaging with ideas attached to it, shape perceptions of the environment. It provides resources with which landscape managers can think about their tasks and engage various publics in discussion about future environments in light of these histories of place. Rather than a history of these three places, this is history written from them.

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About Peter Coates

Peter Coates is Professor of American and Environmental History at the University of Bristol. He is an environmental historian of the 19th and 20th century, particularly of the USA and UK. His principal research interests are in the study of human relations with the rest of the natural world over time with recent specific emphasis on energy environments and fluvial landscapes.

About David Moon

David Moon is Anniversary Professor of History at the University of York. The main focus of his research has been the rural world of the Russian Empire from the 17th to the 20th centuries. His research on environmental history considers the interrelationship between the human and non-human worlds, and how people have understood this interrelationship, over time.

About Paul Warde

Paul Warde is Lecturer in Environmental History at the University of Cambridge. His principal research interests are in the environmental, economic and social history of early modern and modern Europe. In particular his research focuses on the use of wood as a fundamental resource in pre-industrial society; the long-term history of energy use and its relationship with economic development, and environmental and social change and the history of prediction and modelling in thinking about the environment.

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