A Landscape Revolution? Breckland 1700 – 1930

Landscape historians at UEA are embarking on a project which will explore the changing landscape of the Brecks in the period c.1700-1930. Many parishes experienced dramatic change during this time as heathland commons were replaced by enclosed fields and plantations.Breckland landscape with gorse The project will seek to chart these changes and record the stories behind them, drawing together existing research and presenting the findings through a new project website. Topics to be explored include:

  • How successful was heathland enclosure?
  • To what extent did traditional agricultural practices continue?
  • What impact did game management have on the landscape?
  • How significant was the role of particular landowners and estates?
  • How did tree planting develop before the Forestry Commission took charge in the 20th century?

A number of workshops and day schools are planned which will provide opportunities to find out more about researching the changing post-medieval landscape, with a particular emphasis on contemporary maps and documents.

The project leaders are keen for volunteers and local groups to get involved with the project by carrying out research, sharing existing knowledge and contributing to the project website. They emphasise that the level of involvement is very flexible. If you would like to learn more, and how to get involved, please contact Dr Jon Gregory j.gregory@uea.ac.uk

This is part of a wider HLF-funded project, Breaking New Ground, which encompasses a range of activities and events across the Brecks in Norfolk and Suffolk. You can find out more on the project website – Breaking New Ground

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