Thursday, March 01, 2018

Jonathan Meades in the New Forest

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The great man has reviewed New Forest: The Forging of a Landscape by Hadrian Cook for the Literary Review:
There have also been clearances. The forest’s gypsies suffered the ignominious fate, almost a century ago, of being herded into compounds, which Augustus John described as concentration camps. John, unmentioned by Cook, also railed against fences, hedgerows and enclosures as manifestations of land theft, to be corrected by squatting - hence places such as Nomansland. 
All along the beguiling, ragged forest edges - within or without the boundaries, according to which agency’s map and regulations you consult - there were proto-villages and scrappy hamlets that have been lost forever. They were precious and perhaps inevitably destined to be provisional. There was some affinity with plotlands and even Appalachian dirt farms.

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