Forest Policies and Social Change in England by Sylvie Nail

By Sylvie Nail

Forestry has been witness to a few dramatic alterations lately, with numerous Western international locations now relocating clear of the normal version of concerning forests purely 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 easy economics. during this cutting edge booklet, Sylvie Nail makes use of England as a case learn to discover the relationships among forests, society and public perceptions, elevating vital questions on wooded area coverage and administration either now and sooner or later.

Adopting a sociological method of woodland coverage and administration, the e-book discusses the present validity of the 2 rules underlying forestry because the center a long time: first, that forestry should still in simple terms exist whilst no higher use of the land might be made, and moment, that forestry itself could be ecocnomic. the writer stresses how values and perceptions form rules, and conversely how regulations can adjust perceptions, and likewise how guidelines can fail in the event that they don't take perceptions under consideration. She concludes that the various matters dealing with English forestry within the 21st century – from rest, health and wellbeing and amenity provision, via schooling and rural in addition to city regeneration, to biodiversity conservation – cross well past either nationwide borders and the scope of forestry. certainly forestry within the 21st century appears much less approximately planting and dealing with timber than approximately being a vector and a reflect of social change.

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

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James I took a great interest in the forests and tried to encourage planting, but Charles I did not. In the second half of the 17th century, fear for the supplies of wood and timber occasioned by the excesses of the Civil War, as well as by the enclosures of agricultural lands, led to great concern. What the wooded landscape looked like when Charles II was restored to the throne in 1660 is a moot point. Some argue that it was ‘a scene of unparalleled desolation’ [Schama 1995: 159], while others argue that the situation was made to look worse than it really was, in order to urge the king to act [Williamson 2000: 114].

But the conjuncture served the myth well between 1660 and 1760. 2 The Oak and the Navy Indeed, it was no coincidence that John Evelyn’s lecture was entitled ‘Upon Occasion of certain Quaeries propounded to that Illustrious Assembly, by the Honourable the Principal Officers and Commissioners of the Navy’. One of the most preoccupying facts with regard to timber was the defence of the nation through its navy. Shipbuilding was a great consumer of timber: it took 1,000 oaks to build a ship the size of Nelson’s Victory, and an estimated 2,000 oaks to build a ‘third-rate’ 74 gun warship [Hinde 1985: 15].

Conversely, when the price of corn rose again above the price of oak timber between 1790 and 1812, in the context of the Napoleonic wars, the lands were reclaimed for arable and the trees cut down [Daniels 1988: 48]. This alternation between agriculture and forestry was rather shamelessly summed up by a Restoration peer who reputedly said that wood was ‘an excrescence of the earth provided by God for the payment of debts’ [Miles 1967: 26]. This comment disregarded the fact that, on top of being land banks, woodlands were a fundamental part of the economy on account of the numerous uses they could be put to.

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