How have people changed the land in the UK?

The UK was once forested almost entirely. People cut down trees for their fires and to build homes when they began to end a nomadic hunter-gatherer way of life. Once settled, it was natural to clear trees for growing crops. Live-stock, especially sheep, cropped the grasses short and prevented the trees from reforesting the land.

When the Enclosure Act became law, estate owners enclosed fields with hedges and walls, often removing people already living there. So the tenant farmer came into being.

Then came the Industrial Revolution, when industry - manufacturing and weaving - put a virtual end to cottage industries - weaving in the upstairs of cottages became uneconomical.

Farm-workers flocked to the cities, and the expansion of the town and cities into a smoking, stifling, blot on the countryside, began.

There is much more that changed the land. What one sees when out in the countryside, today, is all man-made!