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.
Contributors: Martin Holdgate, Marie Addyman, E. Charles Nelson, Darrell Smith, Andrew Ramsey, Viktor Kouloumpis, Richard Milner, Gina Douglas, Penny Bradshaw, Arthur MacGregor, Chiara Nepi, Hannah Paddon, Stephen Hewitt, Gordon McGregor Reid, Ghillean T Prance, Peter Davis, Christopher Donaldson, Lucy McRobert, Sophie Darlington, Keith Scholey, Paul A. Roncken, Angus Lunn, Juliet Clutton-Brock, Tim Sands, Robert A. Lambert, James Champion, Erwin van Maanen, Heather Prince, Chris Loynes, Julie Taylor, Sarah Elmeligi, Samantha Finn, Owen Nevin, Jared Bowers, Kate Hennessy, Natasha Lyons, Mike Jeffries.