A new book showing how the landscape across the country is ‘tattooed’ with reminders of the past will be launched at Golden Hare Books next Wednesday 18 April.

A History of Scotland’s Landscapes by Dr Fiona Watson and Historic Environment Scotland (HES) archaeologist, Piers Dixon,  is the most detailed work to date on the history of our Scottish landscape. It has many photographs, historic, landscape and aerial telling the story alongside maps and artworks.

The book is the result  of an 18 year project by HES – the Historic Land-use Assessment. This study mapped all the present uses such as skiing and farming alongside past activities like charcoal burning and settlements.

It explores the continuing evolution of our landscape and helps you identify the features to look out for such as runrigs and lazy beds.

Dr Watson said: “The book’s main purpose is to explore how to ‘read’ a landscape; how to notice, even in passing, the depths of the past all around us.

“It is intended to be a celebration of what remains of the nation’s historic landscapes and the work that has gone into revealing them.

“Thanks to the latest research that forms this book, we have a good idea of not only just how much remains, but also the extent to which the activities of our predecessors have shaped, and still shape, the places we live and work in today, even in the depths of our biggest cities.”

Mr Dixon said: “We hope our book shows how the activities of our ancestors still fundamentally influence our modern world.

“Now we can see for the first time just how extensive the traces of prehistoric, Roman and medieval landscapes are in Scotland: from the surviving remnants of forts and settlements, to the first roads and deep marks left by millennia-old ploughing to farm fields.

“We have also been able to highlight important findings from the HLA study to provide insight on land-use today. We can see, for instance, that while the majority of people live in just 1.4 per cent of Scotland’s land, forestry takes 15 per cent, fields and farms take up 23 per cent, and ‘rough grazing’ – areas that are too poor in quality for anything other than grazing sheep, deer or cattle – makes up a remarkable 51 per cent of the country.”

For more information about the event, visit: https://goldenharebooks.com/event/history-scotlands-landscapes-book-launch/