Fields in the Landscape (22nd Sept 2023)

Goodness – what an evening!

We put out 50 chairs and needed twenty more; many thanks to everyone who supported the event!!

Our speaker, Emily Gillott was lovely, lively and passionate – thought-provoking (but I didn’t manage to get a photo of her …).

‘Fields in the Landscape’ showed us how to spot periods of landscape change from our travels but also using online resources free to us all and from the comfort of an armchair. Then she took us on a timeline through the changes in our landscape from the palaeolithics who began by pruning trees to improve fruit-yield or clearing glades to encourage deer into easier hunting positions. Through the earliest farming settlements (still visible in Cornwall and the Scottish Isles, for example) to the Romans who used the Trent Valley as a bread basket to feed their empire but who left, leaving the landscape to over-grow their presence. Then we travelled up to and beyond the mediaeval open field systems and self-sufficient communities before the cataclysmic changes brought by the Enclosure Acts of the late 1700s, population movement and industrialisation. We are in a period of change again – how do we learn from the mediaeval systems and the problems created by enclosure? What a story.