New Forest: The Forging of a Landscape [Paperback]

Hadrian Cook (Author)

ISBN: 9781911188193 | Published by: Windgather Press | Volume: 1 | Year of Publication: 2017 | Language: English 232p, H246 x W189 (mm) b/w and colour

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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 tranquillity 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 handsome and informative book is more than just another history… a detailed yet very readable account of changing economic and administrative objectives over time, and their role in transforming this unique forest landscape."
Amanda Richardson
Medieval Settlement Research Group (29/01/2019)

"...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."
Spencer Gavin Smith
Current Archaeology (02/08/2018)

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