Managing Scotland's Environment, Second Edition by Charles Warren

By Charles Warren

Scotland's usual surroundings is its such a lot valuable asset and the topic of its so much vociferous debates. Charles Warren tackles land reform, the way forward for farming, public entry, conservation of moorland and birds of prey, where of forestry, and the keep watch over of alien species and purple deer, taking on the mixing of conservation with social and financial goals.

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Objective and subjective are thus inevitably interwoven, and susceptible to changes of fashion. • Is the world ours to manage? indd 16 17/6/09 13:08:34 the shaping of scotland’s environment 17 There are, of course, no easy or clear-cut answers to such questions. They are explored later in the book but are raised here because they underlie so much of what follows. If we accept that we have a responsibility to manage our environment, what exactly is the nature of that challenge? The next section outlines some key elements of the theory of environmental management.

Between 10,000 and 8,200 years ago, an era dubbed the Climatic Optimum, Scotland was about 2 to 3 °C warmer than today, and probably drier, with extensive woodland (Whittington and Edwards, 2003). , 2006). Thus, when our earliest ancestors arrived in Scotland, they encountered a fluctuating climate and an environment which was adjusting rapidly to the recent retreat of the last Scottish ice sheet. This adjustment saw rapid changes of coastlines as the seas rose and the earth’s crust rebounded from its ice-depressed state.

A whole industry of calendars, cards and photographic ‘coffee table books’ trades on this perception of Scotland as a beautiful and pristine wilderness. The tourist trade, too – worth some £5 billion per annum – is heavily dependent on the natural backcloth. Clearly there is much truth in these appealing portrayals of the country. Scottish landscapes are renowned for their beauty, and with only 2 per cent of the country classed as urban, Scotland does consist largely of countryside (Fig. 2). It is, in fact, one of Europe’s most sparsely populated countries, with one of the most urbanised and unevenly distributed populations.

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