Session: #249

Theme & Session Format

1. Widening horizons through human-environment interconnections
Session format:
Regular session

Title & Content

Forestry, Subsistence and Industry: The Character and Conservation of Woodland Heritage
The nature and extent of Europe’s modern forestry cover is a key characteristic of its landscapes and of their history. Exploitation of forestry for subsistence, agriculture and industry shaped earlier settlement patterns, and as a result, ancient forestry is not only strong in cultural significance and folklore, but a rich repository of archaeological evidence of past activity. Because of this, new planting (for carbon sequestration, nature, public goods such as health, wellbeing and access, or simply timber production) provides an opportunity for recognising, celebrating and enhancing historic character. This session will explore, compare and contrast the historic and archaeological character of woodland and forestry across a range of countries. It will discuss the challenges for sustaining the heritage and the historic character of forestry and woodland, and the differing national approaches to doing so. Papers will also explore the suite of affordances, both natural and cultural that the forest offers, from raw material to the support of industries and how evidence of this is being recorded and understood today. With the increased role which woodlands now play around health and wellbeing, as well as the social benefits seen through community archaeology and public engagement, the session will also examine the role of this work around the recording, promotion and protection woodland heritage.
forestry, wellbeing, community, public engagement, woodland
Session associated with MERC:
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Main organiser:
Vincent Holyoak (United Kingdom) 1
Emmet Byrnes (Ireland) 2
1. HE - Historic England
2. Forest Service, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine