In the Nature of Landscape presents regional cultural landscape as a new direction for research in cultural geography through an in-depth study of the Norfolk Broads, a wetland region in eastern England whose geography and history have been shaped for centuries by cohabiting and conflicting interests. Ideas of region, culture and landscape have been comprehensively re-theorised in recent decades, and are here brought together to produce a new understanding of the Broads in particular, and landscape in general. Contests over the region—from disputes over the origin of the broads (lakes) in the flooding of medieval peat diggings to projections of regional loss in a future of sea level rise under climate change—are addressed. Chapters pursue different dimensions of landscape, interweaving theoretical argument and in-depth empirical research to analyse narratives of landscape origin, debates over human conduct, animal and plant landscapes, and the spectre of the end of landscape through pollution and flood. An emphasis on different voices which have sought to speak for the region—from naturalists, tourists, planners and painters, to photographers, film-makers, folk singers and geographers—reveals the colloquial nature of landscape. By presenting an original cultural geographic study of a specific region, In the Nature of Landscape offers illuminating insights into the broader value and meaning of landscape in the 21st century.
Keywords: Cultural geography, cultural landscape, regional cultural landscape, Norfolk Broads, wetland geographic research, Broadland, human-environment interaction, environmental geography, historical geography, landscape studies, landscape origin, anthropology of landscape, land use, nature writing, geographic ecology, landscape ecology, Geography - Planning