Essays investigating the idea of natural heritage and the ways in which it has changed over time. The concepts of nature, culture and heritage are deeply entwined; their threads run together in some of our finest museums, in accounts of exploration and discovery, in the work of artists, poets and writers, and in areas that are cherished and protected because of their landscapes and wildlife. The conservation ethic - placing a value on the natural environment - lies at the heart of the notion of "natural heritage", but we need to question how those values originated, were consolidated and ultimately moulded and changed over time. In a contemporary context the connections between nature and culture have sometimes become lost, fragmented, dislocated or misunderstood; where did "natural heritage" begin and how do we engage with the idea of "nature" today? The essays collected here re-evaluate the role of culture in developing the concept of natural heritage, reflecting on the shifts in its interpretation over the last 300 years.
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