Britain From Above on TV

In: Uncategorized

24 Aug 2008

Andrew Marr’s Britain From Above documentary series on BBC television was a pleasant surprise. His aerial perspective of Britain, although impressionistic in some respects, enabled him to make some useful thematic points. In particular the episode on “Manmade Britain” argued that Britain’s landscape is entirely shaped by human beings. The patchwork quilt of different coloured fields is a result of industrial agriculture which goes back to the enclosure acts of the early nineteenth century and before. Other influences include urbanisation as well as the creation of “green belts” around British cities (under the 1947 Town and Country Planning Act) and the establishment of national parks from 1949 onwards. Overall Marr argues that man has shaped Britain’s environment for more than 6,000 years. Before that it was almost all wood land.

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