This book aims to show the various ways in which human history has exercised a formative role in shaping European landscapes into what is seen today. It simultaneously draws attention to the ways in which environmental development and landscape conditions have been powerful influences on the course of history.
The author takes an overall approach to European rural landscapes from a biological and historical point of view. He outlines the history of European landscapes from the early stone age to modern times, placing special emphasis on the period 1000-1900. His research links topics like biological diversity and nature conservation on the one hand with history and archaeology on the other. He also points to various weaknesses in modern nature- and eco-cultural conservation, and offers suggestions on control solutions and on realising sustainable environmental policies.
Urban Emanuelsson is a professor at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and for many years has been the director of the Swedish Biodiversity Center. He is a plant ecologist specializing in the cultural landscape and issues involving historical ecology. He also works with environmentally sensitive social planning and with international nature stewardship in various regions of the world.