Medieval parks have been the subject of research and debate for many decades, but until relatively recently have remained neglected in terms of their conservation. There is a rich literature, with studies of invertebrate faunas and their ecologies, rare lichens and bryophytes, and grazing stock such as deer and White Park cattle. Researchers have considered their fishponds, and other productive features. Political historians and medievalists have written on the politics of fashion and taste and the importance of parks in providing sport and entertainment for the wealthy elite. There are also regional studies that document parks in their county or national contexts, and individual case studies that look in depth at particular locations.
A major area of research is the study of old trees in parks and also of the need today, to manage these effectively. Yet it is only by understanding the economic and political forces that generated and safeguarded these magnificent trees and their landscapes, alongside the unique ecological interest for example, that we can fully engage with them. It is only then that we can most effectively find ways in which to both celebrate their histories, and seek to conserve them for the future. Many of these topics are covered by the papers in The History, Ecology and Archaeology of Medieval Parks and Parklands.
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