Exploring Environmental History: Selected Essays by T. C. Smout

By T. C. Smout

This quantity brings jointly the easiest of T. C. Smout's contemporary articles and contributions to books and journals relating to environmental historical past and provides them as a suite of 'explorations'. The author's pursuits are multi-faceted and, notwithstanding usually focussed on post-1600 Scotland, not at all constrained to that zone.

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On the other hand, the 1990 Regional Council Elections produced Scotland’s first Green Party councillor (in Nairn) and the party scored unusually well in votes in Highland Region. D. 335, Records of the Scottish Rights of Way Society. Tom Stephenson, Forbidden Land: the Struggle for Access to Mountain and Moorland (Manchester, 1989), pp. D. 335. 46 Aside from the political aggression, it was a sign of the times that there was a great increase in the recreational use of the mountains by middleclass town dwellers.

5 below. 24 THE HIGHLANDS AND ROOTS OF GREEN CONSCIOUSNESS The ancient pinewoods were already of limited extent in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, threatened by overgrazing by increasing numbers of black cattle (not sheep) and a rising density of human population – which reached its maximum in the Highlands and Islands in the census of 1841. 18 Historians have often noted with disapproval the 60,000 trees contracted to be felled by the York Buildings Company when they purchased an interest in Grant lands in the Abernethy Forest in 1728;19 if indeed they were all felled, this was a substantial loss of mature trees from the already depleted gene bank of the old forests, though one cannot help but notice that the Abernethy forest is still there.

V. Edwards, ‘Peat afforestation’, in ‘Land utilization and conservation in the Scottish Highlands’, Institute of Biology Journal, 7 (1960), pp. 16–19. Hansard, 374 (1940–1), p. 255. Peter L. Payne, The Hydro: a Study of the Development of the Major Hydro-Electric Schemes undertaken by the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board (Aberdeen, 1989); K. J. Lea, ‘Hydro-electric power developments and the landscape in the Highlands of Scotland’, 35 EXPLORING ENVIRONMENTAL HISTORY overwhelmingly supported by a majority of Scottish MPs, but destroyed by the English majority in Westminster on grounds that ranged from the naked self-interest of landowners defending sporting interests, to genuine passion about the environmental impact.

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