Landscape history teaches us that long-term resilience, the sustainability of communities and their economies has been based on change, often radical reconfiguration, driven by people who understood their immediate environments and who had the freedom and capacity to adapt, often rapidly, to shifting circumstance.  Surely one of the greatest worries that we should all have is that it would seem that for the first time in our history, people’s capacity to change is now denied just at the moment when change is most needed.

Species and environmental  history teaches us that when humans play at altering ecosystems the results are not always predictable or desirable. They may sometimes be disastrous.  As Keith Kirby (2009, 63) states:

“We do need to be realistic and clear as to what we are seeking from wild landscapes – is it specific species, habitats, or natural processes; is it a feeling of wilderness, or spiritual renewal; is it a new form of recreational experience? They may not all be compatible; they may not all have the same level of support both within the conservation community and the wider public”

It is to these questions of what were are seeking to make sustainable, why and with what effect that we turn in Chapter 8 – Heritage.