Kenneth R. Olwig, Landscape Research Group, London; Department of Landscape Architecture, Management and Planning, The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Alnarp, Sweden &
Hannes Palang, Landscape Research Group, London; Institute of Humanities, Tallinn University, Estonia

Keywords: Pastoralism, wood pastures, rewilding, land abandonment, agro-environmental bureaucracy

Session organised by The Landscape Research Group: Mountain pastoralism traditionally involves a fluid mix of environments depending on the season, the age of the animals and a variety of other factors. It may involve free summer grazing on high extensive areas of unbounded treeless hill or mountain commons; spring and autumn grazing in common wood pastures with varying densities of trees; winter grazing and feeding on enclosed meadows, fields and barns on the valley floors. In addition, grazing in distant lowland areas may be important for young animals gaining strength for their future life in the hills and for older animals being prepared for sale. Pastoralism may also involve a blending of genetic material by crossbreeding hardy, but lean mountain breeding stock with weaker, but meatier and/or woollier lowland breeds. Environmental and agricultural bureaucracies, as well as environmentalist rewilders, however, tend to standardize and classify environments within manageable boxes corresponding to particular bounded typological areas (e.g. with regard to the classification and mapping of wood pastures, nature areas or food production districts). The result is that mountain grazing landscapes often fall into the gaps between agricultural, food and environmental policy and support schemes. This contributes to the abandonment of these landscapes and the consequent loss of their cultural and biological value. The papers in this session will examine the nature of these issues in different mountainous or hill environments and discuss possible alternative futures.


Golobic, Mojca:
Preserving cultural landscapes in the Alps – the implications of EU policies for landscape diversity

Käärt, Kaija; Ratas, Urve; Rivis, Reimo & Kont, Are:
Environmental and human impacts on dynamics of seminatural ecosystems – the case of Estonia

Contested Alpine grazing landscapes: a perspective from post-war Swiss folklore studies

How to maintain a ‘natural’ aspect of mountain pastoral landscapes better with public policies: some lessons from the history of the French volcanic Chaîne des Puys public policies?

Olwig, Kenneth:
Mountain grazing landscapes caught between abandon- ment, rewilding and agro-environmental bureaucracy. The Case of England’s Lake District

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