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A History of the Native Woodlands of Scotland, 1500-1920$
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T.C. Smout and Alan R. MacDonald

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780748612413

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748612413.001.0001

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(p.1) Chapter 1 Introduction
A History of the Native Woodlands of Scotland, 1500-1920

T. C. Smout

Alan R. MacDonald

Fiona Watson

Edinburgh University Press

This introductory chapter begins with a few explanations and definitions of terms such as ‘native woods’, ‘semi-natural’ or ‘ancient’ woods, and ‘plantations on ancient woodland sites’. It then briefly sets out the focus of the book, namely management, i.e., the human use of woods rather than about the natural history or ecology of woods, though use interacted with the ecology and influenced the natural history. The central question is this – were the Scottish woods used wisely by our ancestors: were they used in a sustainable way? The discussion then turns to ways of managing natural or semi-natural woodland which range from perfectly sustainable to absolutely unsustainable.

Keywords:   Scottish woods, sustainability, native woods, plantations, woodlands

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