Landscape and History explores a complex relationship over the past five centuries. The book is international and interdisciplinary in scope, drawing on material from social, economic and cultural history as well as from geography, archaeology, cultural geography, planning and landscape history.
In recent years, as the author points out, there has been increasing interest in, and concern for, many aspects of landscape within British, European and wider contexts. This has included the study of the history, development and changes in our perception of landscape, as well as research into the links between past landscapes and political ideologies, economic and social structures, cartography, art and literature.
There is also considerable concern at present with the need to evaluate and classify historic landscapes, and to develop policies for their conservation and management in relation to their scenic, heritage and recreational value. This is manifest not only in the designation of particularly valued areas with enhanced protection from planning developments, such as national parks and world heritage sites, but in the countryside more generally. Further, Ian D. Whyte argues, changes in European Union policies relating to agriculture, with a greater concern for the protection and sustainable management of rural landscapes, are likely to be of major importance in relation to the themes of continuity and change in the landscapes of Britain and Europe.