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Managing Northern Europe's Forests: Histories from the Age of Improvement to the Age of Ecology

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Volume 12

Environment in History: International Perspectives

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Managing Northern Europe's Forests

Histories from the Age of Improvement to the Age of Ecology

Edited by K. Jan Oosthoek and Richard Hölzl

420 pages, 17 illus., 14 maps, 3 tables, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78533-600-3 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (February 2018)

eISBN 978-1-78533-601-0 eBook

Hb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook! $39.95 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“All in all, this volume, thoroughly edited, richly illustrated as well as having a helpful glossary and an equally useful index, offers a substantially new and innovative contribution to the history of forests in Europe. It is well worth reading and exemplary for other areas.” • Vierteljahrschrift für Sozial- und Wirtschaftsgeschichte

“This comprehensive and truly transnational collection provides fascinating comparative studies of the history of forestry. It will be of wide interest to environmental historians and students of silviculture everywhere.” • Tom Brooking, University of Otago


Northern Europe was, by many accounts, the birthplace of much of modern forestry practice, and for hundreds of years the region’s woodlands have played an outsize role in international relations, economic growth, and the development of national identity. Across eleven chapters, the contributors to this volume survey the histories of state forestry policy in Scandinavia, the Low Countries, Germany, Poland, and Great Britain from the early modern period to the present. Each explores the complex interrelationships of state-building, resource management, knowledge transfer, and trade over a period characterized by ongoing modernization and evolving environmental awareness.

K. Jan Oosthoek is an environmental historian based in Brisbane, Australia. He is author of Conquering the Highlands: A History of the Afforestation of the Scottish Uplands (2013). He has also served as vice-president of the European Society for Environmental History (2005–2007) and manages the website “Environmental History Resources” (

Richard Hölzl is a researcher for the German Science Foundation at the University of Göttingen. He is the author of a book on scientific forestry in Germany (Umkämpfte Wälder, 2010) and co-editor of a collection on the global history of missions (Mission Global, 2013). His article “Historicizing Sustainability” in Science as Culture was awarded the 2011 Best Article Prize by the European Society for Environmental History.

Exploring Environmental History Podcast
Subject: Environmental Studies (General) History: Medieval/Early Modern History: 18th/19th Century
Area: Northern Europe


List of tables, maps and Figures
List of Abbreviations

Introduction: State Forestry in Northern Europe
Richard Hölzl and K. Jan Oosthoek

Chapter 1. Forestry in Germany, c1550-2000
Bernd-Stefan Grewe and Richard Hölzl

Chapter 2. State Forestry in the Netherlands: from Liberalism to Nature Creation
K. Jan Oosthoek

Chapter 3. State forestry in Belgium since the End of the Eighteenth Century
Pierre-Alain Tallier, Hilde Verboven, Kris Vandekerkhove, Hans Baeté and Kris Verheyen

Chapter 4. Origins and Development of State Forestry in the United Kingdom
K. Jan Oosthoek

Chapter 5. State and Forestry in Denmark from the Late Eighteenth to the Early Twenty-First Century
Bo Fritzbøger

Chapter 6. State Forestry in Norway
Lars Helge Frivold and Asbjørn Svendsrud

Chapter 7. Swedish State Forestry, 1790-2000
Per Eliasson and Erik Törnlund

Chapter 8. Finnish Forestry in a Long-Term Perspective
Heikki Roiko-Jokela

Chapter 9. The History of State Forests and Forestry in Poland
Anna Majchrowska

Conclusion: National Histories, Shared Legacies: State Forestry in Northern Europe in Comparison
Richard Hölzl and K. Jan Oosthoek

Glossary of terms

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