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Durham e-Theses
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British wilderness: a case for designation and management

Nicholson, Simon (1999) British wilderness: a case for designation and management. Masters thesis, Durham University.



The notion of 'wilderness' has its origins in or before Biblical times and man’s relationship with wild nature has a long and changing history. In the USA, the development of the appreciation of wild landscape evolved throughout the period of colonisation and frontier consolidation. It reached its zenith with the creation in 1964 of designated Wilderness Areas backed by congressional law. Wilderness and wild nature have many meanings and much significance both in an anthropogenic and an ecological sense. In Britain, these meanings have been less clearly identified than in the USA but they nevertheless form an important part of our cultural and biological heritage. The role of wild nature in Britain is inevitably tied to a profound and long-standing involvement in land management, even in our most remote landscapes. Many aspects of this management are appreciated by recreationalists where the print of man may even enhance the positive experience of wild country. If Britain is to develop a wilderness tradition and designate wilderness areas at the top of its hierarchy of reserve areas, we must appreciate three things: firstly the ecological need for allowing natural processes to proceed without interference; secondly the value placed on artificial elements by recreationalists; and thirdly the need for a sense of remoteness, solitude and tranquillity to reign in these areas. Accommodating these three conflicting ideas will be an immensely difficult management task, especially in our most popular uplands like the Lake District. Recent discussions on the future of nature management and many current management plans for wild and remoter parts of our landscape are recognising that the wilderness tradition does have a role in British land management practice and that its development is overdue.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Science
Thesis Date:1999
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:13 Sep 2012 15:49

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