The aim of this book is to elucidate the role of forests as part of a landscape in the life of people. Most landscapes today are cultural landscapes that are influenced by human activity and that in turn have a profound effect on our understanding of and identification with a place. The book proposes that a better understanding of the bond between people and forests as integrated part of a landscape may be helpful in landscape planning, and may contribute to the discussion of changes in forest cover which has been motivated by land use changes, rural development and the global climate debate. To this end, people's perception of forest landscapes, the reasons for different perceptions, and future perspectives are discussed. Given the wide range of forest landscapes, and cultural perspectives which exist across the world, the book focuses on Europe as a test case to explore the various relationships between society, culture, forests and landscapes. It looks at historical evidence of the impacts of people on forests and vice versa, explores the current factors affecting people's physical and emotional comfort in forest landscapes, and looks ahead to how changes in forest cover may alter the present relationships of people to forests. Drawing together a diverse literature and combining the expertise of natural and social scientists, this book will form a valuable reference for students and researchers working in the fields of landscape ecology and landscape architecture, geography, social science, environmental psychology or environmental history. It will also be of interest to researchers, government agencies and practitioners with an interest in issues such as sustainable forest management, sustainable tourism, reserve management, urban planning and environmental interpretation.
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