What is the line to be drawn between protecting the environment and manipulating it? With Gilly Drummond, Danae Stratou, Dorian Fuller and William Beinart.
Is the idea of a pristine landscape an illusion, given that over thousands of years human activity has almost everywhere left its mark? Bridget Kendall asks the gardener Gilly Drummond, the land artist Danae Stratou, the archaeobotanist Dorian Fuller, and the historian William Beinart.
(Photo: Blenheim Palace Park where English landscape architect Capability Brown created a 150-acre lake and planted more than a million trees to make perhaps his finest artificial landscape (c) Blenheim Palace).
William Beinart is a South African born environmental historian. He is a former Professor of race relations and Director of graduate studies at the African Studies Centre, University of Oxford. His research explores our differing attitudes towards controlling nature, focusing on the impact of plant and animal introductions to South Africa, including the prickly pear from Mexico, and the millions of sheep in colonial times. William Beinart is also an author, and his books include The Rise of Conservation in South Africa; with Lotte Hughes, Environment and Empire; and with Luvuyo Wotshela, Prickly Pear: The Social History of a Plant in the Eastern Cape. He recently published an A level text book on South Africa 1948-1994.