New Forest: The Forging of a Landscape [Paperback]

Hadrian Cook(Author)

ISBN: 9781911188193 | Published by: Windgather Press | Year of Publication: 2017 | 1st | Language: English 232p, H9.68 x W7.44, b/w and color
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New Forest


Hadrian Cook’s new account of the New Forest in southern England, provides an historical narrative of the occupation and use of a vast area that was, for centuries, important as a Royal Hunting Forest and subject to many contentious laws and regulations, but which includes much economically marginal land. Four critical themes are explored through time: the shaping of the natural environment into human prehistory; human intervention through natural resource management; governance and management of the forest over time, stressing pressures on resources and attempts at exclusion of certain social groups; and policies and designations to conserve the New Forest. Cook aims to reflect a complicated narrative around the evolution caused by changing management and economic objectives reflecting governance arrangements at different times. Once the domain of kings, the New Forest is today, in effect, open-access, largely state-owned land, famous for its pretty villages, mosaic of moorland and woodland, roaming horses and cattle, diverse wildlife and miles of open countryside. But this tranquility belies a complex and contested history.

Table of Contents


List of figures, maps and photographs
Glossary of historic terms

Chapter 1 A new book on the New Forest
Into the Forest
Legal reforms and management changes
Previous accounts
Characteristics of the New Forest
An approach

Chapter 2 Under the Greenwood Tree
Landscape ecology, function and value
Geology, climate and soils
Stability and change
Values placed in trees
New Forest landscapes

Chapter 3 A Hungry Land (10,000 BC–AD 1066)
Early human activity and the landscape
Agriculture and the Neolithic (c 4000–2400 BC)
Bronze Age (2400–700 BC)
Iron Age (700 BC– AD 43)
Transition and the coming of the Romans
Romano-British settlement
Roman roads
Roman industry
Angles, Saxons, Jutes, Danes and the hunt
Anglo-Saxons and Normans in transition

Chapter 4 The Medieval Forest (1066–1500)
The Normans at work and play
Feudalism, economt and the law
Within the perambulation
Economic development
Settlements and enclosures

Chapter 5 Forest governance in Medieval times
Officers of the Forest
The Forest laws
The Forest courts
Governance and reform
Charter of the Forests
Dwellers within the Forest

Chapter 6 The increase and preservation of timber (1500–1700)
Henry VIII heralds a new regime?
Re-organisation and the rise of auditing
The end of monastic interests
Coppicing: a New Forest experiment?
Manwood and Norden
The rise of silviculture
Seventeenth century pressure on land

Chapter 7 Decline of the Old Ways (1660–1900)
Planting and counting the hearts of oak
the Drivers’, their map and the General Surveyor
Office of Woods and the arival of big government?
The New Forest Association, commoning and inclosure
Encroachment, enclosureand property rights
romany population
Extent of encraochment
East Boldre
In the villages

Chapter 8 A Search for the Workable (1900–1980)
Conservation to the Second world War
A new land fit for heroes, 1945–1949?
Redeeming the New Forest?

Chapter 9 The Rise of the National Park (1980–present)
New Forest National Park (NFNP)
Boundaries again
Modern commoners
Agri-environment payments
Who needs another layer of bureaucracy anyway?
Evolving governance and its dissenters
Economic and governance challenges
New partnerships in hydrological projects? A case example

Reviews & Quotes

"“…this publication functions as an excellent jumping off point to explore further all the different aspects of a landscape which is still new, undiscovered, and unfamiliar to many of us.” "

Current Archaeology ()

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