Woodland management in an industrial economy, 1830–1920 and beyond

T. C. Smout, Alan R. MacDonald and Fiona Watson

in A History of the Native Woodlands of Scotland, 1500-1920

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print November 2004 | ISBN: 9780748612413
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748653331 | DOI:
Woodland management in an industrial economy, 1830–1920 and beyond

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This chapter discusses woodland management from 1830 onwards. By 1830, Scotland was becoming an industrial country, with nearly a third of her population already living in towns of 5,000 inhabitants or more, and many even in the countryside dependent on the textile and mining industries for their income. The ideology of free trade, dominant over agricultural and other forms of protectionism by the 1840s, ensured that Scotland was part of a global market, exporting industrial goods and importing raw materials, including wood, unhindered. The highly efficient intensive farming of the Lowlands largely rode out the storm of globalisation to the end of the period, maintaining its reputation and profits. In the Highlands, the shift from upland peasant farming to a capitalist sheep monoculture altered the face of the land and destroyed old ways of management. When sheep lost their profitability in the last quarter of the nineteenth century, the grouse moor and the deer forest became the dominant form of land use, with a coastal fringe of crofting. By all these developments, the Scottish woods were profoundly affected.

Keywords: Scotland; Scottish woods; wood products; industrial economy; free trade

Chapter.  13589 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Regional and Area Studies

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