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The chalk Downs of southern England and the Wolds of Lincolnshire and Yorkshire are distinctive landscapes, now largely devoid of trees, populated only thinly, with little or no signs of rural industry. They were once, however, lightly wooded; see Alan Everitt, ‘River and Wold: Reflections on the Historical Origin of Regions and Pays’, in Everitt, Landscape and Community in England (1985). They provide archaeological evidence of former arable cultivation, and since parliamentary enclosure have partly reverted to the growing of crops, but essentially these poor, thin soils are used for sheep grazing. See, for example, W. H. Hudson, A Shepherd's Life (1910), which deals with Wiltshire.

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