from 10 000 years ago to the present
This book by I G Simmons is an excellent overview of the human effects on the landscape and wildlife of the British Isles. It is a large, expensive and academic book but it is accessible enough for anyone with a keen interest in the subject. I found it fascinating for the way it outlined changes and shows that some things we thing are traditional or even natural are not necessarily that way.
For example hedgerows. Hedgerows are a wonderful part of the British landscape and a vital resource for wildlife and we are rightly upset when they are uprooted to make way for roads or to allow more intensive farming. But how traditional are they? In fact in mediaeval times fields were pretty large and many hedgerows weren't introduced until Enclosure of the lands from 1300 onwards. This of course affected bird populations, so some species which are now declining are perhaps only declining to their mediaeval levels.
Although this is not meant to divert attention from the fact that we are facing catastrophic declines in some of our wildlife species, it does help to bring a different perspective to it. Some element of change is not a cause for concern and is just part of natural cycles. The challenge then of course is how to tell the difference.
This is a fascinating book and definitely worth reading by anyone interested in the UK's natural history.
An Environmental History of Great Britain by I G Simmons, published by Edinburgh University Press.