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Title: Contemporary forest landscapes in Britain : ownership, environmentalism and leisure
Author: Garner, Andrew
ISNI:       0000 0001 3491 065X
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2002
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This study falls within the ambit of recent work exploring the social and cultural arrangements of space. It examines how embodied landscapes connect with, make and contest political inequalities. Two ancient Forest landscapes, Hatfield Forest in Essex owned by the National Trust and the New Forest in Hampshire managed by the Forestry Commission, are examined as sites that are subject to increasingly diverse aspirations and values about who or what the countryside is for. The variable construction of nature and the differential experience of those constituting it is examined at two levels. Firstly, a theoretical exploration of how landscapes, discourses of place and identity, and material culture emerge in practices and embodiment. Secondly, an investigation of Forests through the perceptions and actions of different groups of people who live, work, volunteer or in a variety of ways manage, the Forest landscape. Substantive chapters consider arguments between ecologists, foresters and locals over a restoration programme; the construction of place and personal identities by managers, staff and volunteers; the politically and morally contested landscape of fox hunting; the connection between skilful tool use, place and gender among members of a work gang; and the making of different senses of the environment by managers and ecologists. It is argued that to understand the differential construction of Forest landscapes, we should concentrate on the points at which discourses emerge in the world and when the material world, in turn, constitutes discursive practice. Consideration is given to the practices and application of skilful knowledge, such as using chainsaws or maps, and to the ways in which the material world, for example soundscapes, contribute to the making of social meanings. The material and symbolic uses of trees are discussed. Finally, the implications are considered in the light of the fault lines exposed by recent events in the countryside between working and leisured landscapes.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available