Ancient woodlands and trees: a guide for landscape planners and forest managers.


Ancient woodlands and trees have long been and will remain important elements of our cultural landscapes; a living archaeology and often relics of former land use and distinctive countryside. These ancient woodlands and trees, widely considered as the 'common heritage of mankind', have been some of the most typical components of diverse landscapes over hundreds and even thousands of years. Furthermore, the woods, trees, and forests reflect the close contact between mankind and nature and in some cases connect to specific historic events or people. Ancient woodlands, trees and forests are at the very core of many global landscapes. However, understanding the resource which these living landscapes provide requires genuinely multi-disciplinary research. Furthermore, the interest in and understanding of ancient woodlands and trees has grown significantly over recent decades. Overall, given the urgent need to discover, understand, conserve and where necessary restore ancient woodlands and trees, it is hoped that this publication provides a modest step to raise awareness and enthusiasm. There is so much more to learn and to read through understanding the web of relations in the mysterious world of ancient woodlands and ancient trees. In addressing this hugely important topic and most fascinating subject in the European ecology and the continent's landscape. Nature offers endless inspiration and wisdom to all sciences, and trees are one of the unique elements of this everchanging source of knowledge. Nature has also been subject to human development over thousands of years, an intimate interaction that has generated cultural landscapes with often strong elements of local, regional, and national character. Being one of the oldest continually inhabited regions in the World, Europe and Anatolia contain diverse cultural landscapes with ancient woodlands and trees rich in biodiversity. Ancient woodlands and trees are strongly influenced by human activity reaching back far into history, an interaction which was often fine-grained and sustainable, but which sometimes also caused degradation of these unique resources. Therefore, it is a challenge to keep abreast of current developments and ideas. The production of a major review volume which brings together key researchers and writers from across Europe and beyond, is immensely valuable to landscape planners, forest and woodland managers, and to a wider audience such as policy makers and educators too. It also contributes to international efforts towards identifying, recording and developing globally important agricultural heritage systems. This book comprises fifteen major contributions by leading scholars on the ecology, history, heritage, and management of ancient trees, ancient woodlands and forests. Taking trees, woods and forests as eco-cultural resources, the authors explore ecology and nature, history, tradition and heritage, and the evidence base of archaeology, literature, and archives.

Key words