Taming a Wetland Wilderness: Romano-British and Medieval Reclamation in the Somerset Levels and Moors
University of Exeter
Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society
[FIRST PARAGRAPH] Wetlands dominate the landscape of Somerset, and the drainage of the Levels and Moors represents a remarkable human achievement. These wetlands are quite rightly valued for their nature conservation interest but they are far from a 'natural' environment: the wide range of freshwater flora and fauna that the Levels and Moors support today are a direct result of a human transformation of this landscape and the flood defences and drainage systems are very special cultural artefacts. This article is a summary of recent research into the creation of the 'historic landscape': the pattern of fields, roads, settlements and watercourses that we use today, but which in many areas is over a thousand years old.
Reproduced with permission of the publisher. Copyright © Somerset Archaeological & Natural History Society, 2006.
Rippon, S. 2006: Taming a Wetland Wilderness: Romano-British and Medieval Reclamation in the Somerset Levels and Moors. In: Hill-Cottingham, P., Briggs, D., Brunning, R., King, A. and Rix, G. (eds) 'The Somerset Wetlands: An Ever Changing Environment'. Taunton: Somerset Archaeological & Natural History Society, 47-56.