The British Landscape Club

Human landscapes

There is an interesting article in yesterday's Guardian by Jonathan Meades, in which he states 'our rural landscape is a fiction' and talks about his urban suspicions about the countryside. He makes the case that everything that we think of as 'natural' countryside is, in fact, influenced or manufactured by humans. From field boundaries and livestock to the concept of the rural idyll, which is itself a product of our aesthetic appreciation of managed landscapes like parkland.

an article from last Monday's Times takes us to Maiden Hill in Dorset, the remains of a huge Iron Age hillfort a mile or two to the south west of Dorchester, to report that the coldest winter in 30 years has left the landscape 'burnt brown by frost'. Which is all true: pity though that the picture desk bought a slide of somewhere completely different to illustrate the article. 'Children enjoy the snow in Maiden Castle, Dorset, last month' runs the caption, under a picture of Gold Hill in Shaftesbury, perhaps more famously known as the location of the Hovis ad but, as completely missed by the Times' editorial team, 30 miles to the north of Maiden Castle.
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