Short bibliography British environmental history

Over the past fifteen years or so a increasing number of books and articles concerning British environmental history have been published. In a short span of time a rich body of literature has emerged with an emphasis on Northern England and Scotland. Below you find a short bibliography of this literature, which is far from complete. If you wish to find more literature or the latest publications please visit the following sites:


Barnes, Gerry and Tom Williamson, Hedgrow History. Ecology, History and Landscape Character (London: Winndgather Press, 2006).

Bate, J., Romantic Ecology: Wordsworth and the Environmental Tradition (London, 1991).

Brimblecombe, Peter, The Big Smoke: a history of air pollution in London since medieval times (London: Methuen 1987)

Brimblecombe, P., 'Meteorological service in fifteenth century Sandwich', Environment and History, 1 (1995) 241-9.

Brimblecombe, P., 'History of air pollution', in: H. B. Singh (ed.), Composition Chemistry and Climate of the Atmosphere (New York: VNR publishers, 1995), pp. 1-18.

Bowerbank, Sylvia Lorraine, Speaking for Nature: Women and Ecologies of Early Modern England (Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004)

Clapp, B. W, An environmental history of Britain since the Industrial Revolution (London: Longman, 1994)

Clark, Brett, John Bellamy Foster, "The Environmental Conditions of the Working Class: An Introduction to Selections from Frederick Engels's The Condition of the Working Class in England in 1844", Organization & Environment 19, September 2006, pp. 375-388.

Dark, Petra, The Environment of Britain in the First Millennium A.D (London, Duckworth, 1999).

Dickson, C.A. & Dickson, J., Plants and people in ancient Scotland (Tempus, 2000)

Edwards, K. & Smout, T.C, 'Perspective on human-environment interaction in pre-historic and historical times', in: Holmes, G. and Crofts, R. (eds.), Scotland's Environment: The Future (East Linton: Tuckwell, 2000), pp.3-27.

Evans, David, A history of nature conservation in Britain (New York: Routledge, 1997).

Foster, S. & Smout, T.C. (eds.), The History of Soils and Field Systems (Aberdeen: Scottish Cultural Press, 1994)

Halliday, Stephen, The Great Stink of London. Sir Joseph Bazalgette and the Cleansing of the Victorian Metropolis (Stroud: Sutton Publishing, 2001)

Hardy, A., 'Water and the Search for Public Health in London in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries', Journal of Medical History,Vol.28, 1984, pp.250-82.

Hoskins, W.G., The Making of the English Landscape (Harmondsworth,1991 edn.)

Lambert, Robert A. (ed), Species History In Scotland- Introductions and Extinctions Since the Ice Age (Edinburgh: Scottish Cultural Press, 1998)

Lambert, Robert. A., Contested Mountains. Nature, Development and Environment in the Cairngorms Region of Scotland (Cambridge: White Horse Press, 2001)

Le-May Sheffield, Suzanne, Revealing New Worlds. Three Victorian Women Naturalists (Routledge, 2001).

Luckin, Bill, Questions of Power: Electricity and Environment in Inter-war Britain (Manchester University Press, 1990)

Mackay, Donald, Scotland's Rural Land Use Agencies. The History and Effectiveness in Scotland of the Forestry Commission, Nature Conservancy Council and Countryside Commission for Scotland (Aberdeen: Scottish Cultural Press)

MacKenzie, John M., Empires of nature and the Nature of Empires. Imperialism, Scotland and the Environment (East Linton: Tuckwell Press, 1997)

Mosley, Stephen, The chimney of the world: a history of smoke pollution in Victorian and Edwardian Manchester (Cambridge: White Horse Press, 2001)

Newby, Howard, The National Trust. The Next hundred Years (Bromley: The National Trust, 1995)

Oosthoek, K.J.W., 'The Logic of British Forest Policy, 1919-1970', In: Klaus Kubeczko (ed.), Transitions Towards a Sustainable Europe. Ecology - Economy - Policy. Proceedings of the 3rd Biennial Conference of the European Society for Ecogical Economics (Vienna: Wirtschaftsuniversitaet Wien, 2000).

Osborn, Matt, Sowing the Field of British Environmental History, H-Net Environment Group discussion paper, 2001.
Available from: www.h-net.org/~environ/historiography/british.htm.

Osborn Matthew, '"The Weirdest of All Undertakings": The Land and the Early Industrial Revolution in Oldham, England', Environmental History, 8 (2003) 246-269.

Rackham, O., The History of the Countryside. The Classic History of Britain's landscape, Flora and Fauna (London: Phoenix Press, 2001)

RCAHM, 'Well Sheltered and Watered'. Menstry Glen, a Farming Landscape Near Stirling (Edinburgh: Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland, 2000)

Schandl, Heinz, & Schulz, Niels, 'Changes in the United Kingdom's Natural Relations in Terms of Society's Metabolism and Land-Use from 1850 to the Present Day', Ecological Economics 41 (2002): 203-221.

Sheail, John, Nature in Trust: the history of nature conservation in Britain (Glasgow and London: Blackie, 1976)

Sheail, John, Power in trust. The environmental history of the Central Electricity Generating Board (Oxford: Clarendon, 1991)

Sheail, John, 'War and the Development of Nature Conservation in Britain', Journal of Environmental Management, Vol.44, 1995,pp.267-83.

Sheail, John, 'Town Wastes, Agricultural Sustainability and Victorian Sewage', Urban History, Vol.23, 1996, pp.189-210.

Sheail, John, Nature conservation in Britain: the formative years (London: Stationery Office, 1998)

Sheail, John, An Environmental History of Twentieth-Century Britain (New York: Palgrave, 2002)

Sheail, John, 'Green history - The evolving Agenda', Rural History, 4, 2 (1993) 209-223.

Sheail, John, 'The Agricultural Historian and Environmental History', Rural History Today, Issue 4, January 2003, 3-4.
Available from: www.ruralhistory.org/news/images/ruralhistory_issue_4.pdf

Sheail, John, "The Sustainable Management of Industrial Watercourses: An English Historical Perspective", Environmental History, 2 (1997) 197-215.

Sheail, John: "'Burning Bings': A Study of Pollution Management in Mid-Twentieth Century Britain", Journal of Historical Geography 31, January 2005. pp. 134-148.

Smith, R.J., 'Turning a tide of filth', BBC History Magazine, Vol. 2, No. 7, July 2001, pp 41-43.

Simmons, I.G., The Environmental Impact of Later Mesolithic Cultures. The Creation of Moorland Landscape in England and Wales (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1996)

Simmons, I.G, An Environmental History of Great Britain. From 10,000 Years Ago to the Present (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2001)

Simmons, I.G, The Moorlands of England and Wales: An Environmental History 8000 BC to AD 2000 (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2004).

Smout, T.C., 'The Highlands and the roots of green consciousness, 1750-1990', Proceedings of the British Academy vol. 76 (1990 Lectures and Memoirs), pp. 237-264

Smout, T.C. (ed.), Scotland Since Prehistory. Natural Change and Human Impact (Aberdeen: Scottish Cultural Press, 1993)

Smout, T.C. & Lambert, R.A. (eds.), Rothiemurchus: Nature and People on a Highland Estate 1500-2000 (Edinburgh: Scottish Cultural Press, 1999)

Smout, T.C., Nature Contested. Environmental History in Scotland and Northern England since 1600 (Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh Press, 2000)

Smout, T.C., 'Thinking about the environmental history of Scotland and Denmark since 1600', in: Fellows-Jensen, G. (ed.), Denmark and Scotland, the cultural and environmental resources of small nations. Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters, Historisk-filosofiske Meddelelser 82 (2001), pp. 139-152

Smout, T.C. (ed.), Nature, Landscape and People since the Second World War (East Linton, 2001)

Taylor, H. A., Claim on the Countryside: A History of the British Outdoor Movement (Edinburgh, 1997)

Thomas, K., Man and the Natural World: Changing Attitudes in England 1500-1800 (Penguin, Harmondsworth, 1984)

Thorsheim, Peter, Inventing Pollution: Coal, Smoke and Culture in Britian since 1800 (Athens: Ohio University Press, 2006).

Tipping, R. & Watson, F, 'Environmental history in Scotland - the past as the key to the future', Scottish Association of Geography Teachers Journal 28 (1999) 23-30.

Tipping, R., 'Palaeoecological approaches to historic problems: a comparison of sheep-grazing intensities in the Cheviot Hills in the Medieval and later periods', In: Atkinson, J., Banks, I. & MacGregor, G. (eds), Townships to Farmsteads. Rural Settlement Studies in Scotland, England and Wales. Oxford: British Archaeological Reports 293 (2000) 30-43.

Tipping, R., 'Towards an environmental history of the Bowmont Valley and the Northern Cheviot Hills', Landscape History 20 (1999), 41-50.

Whyte, Ian D. and Angus J. L. Winchester (eds.), Society, Landscape and Environment in Upland Britain (Society for Landscape Studies, supplementary series 2, 2004)

Winter, J., Secure from Rash Assault: Sustaining the Victorian Environment (Berkeley & Los Angeles, 1999).

Woodward, Donald, 'Straw, Bracken and the Wicklow Whale: The Explotation of Natural Resources in England Since 1500', Past & Present 159 (May 1998), pp. 43-76.

Click for top of page