Life in rural Britain has changed beyond recognition since the beginning of the 20th century. Not only dramatic events such as the ban on hunting and mad cow disease but also the growth of the organic movement, changes in farming practices and increasing rural poverty have all had an effect on how we view the countryside and the people who live there. In The Contested Countryside, the authors put contemporary rural issues in their historical context, which they argue is essential in order to see modern problems in a clearer light - and perhaps even find some solutions. The Contested Countryside examines the historical background to some of the main controversies of contemporary rural life. The authors explore key elements of rural life, including the varying responses to animal disease from Biblical times to the 2001 outbreak of foot-and-mouth, the relationship between farming methods and landscape preservation as well as organic farming, the role of the European Union and the truth about the Countryside Alliance. In the process they address the thorny question of whether the countryside can still support a rural population. The Contested Countryside is essential reading for anyone with an interest in 21st-century rural life in Britain.
Rural Politics and Land Controversy in Modern Britain