Trees and the Scottish Enlightenment

Created by Calum Mackintosh | Published 12.09.13

This resource, Trees and the Scottish Enlightenment is an outline of the story of the Enlightenment and the beginnings of modern forestry and is intended as a brief introduction to a complex subject, which is complemented by the more detailed stories told in Trees, People and the Country Estate.  Links to this resource are given through this text and are highlighted in yellow with page numbers. 

Scotland is the home of modern Forestry.   Forests here are managed now very differently to how woodlands were managed in the past.  This resource tells the story of how Scottish forestry developed during a particular historical time period, known as the Enlightenment and in a particular sort of place, the Scottish Country Estate. 
The Enlightenment happened throughout Europe, especially in England, Holland, France and Germany but Scotland played an important part despite being smaller, poorer and, at times, at civil war.  It wasn’t a single event, rather it was a complicated series of developments that happened over a long time, starting in the seventeenth century (1600s) and continuing through into the nineteenth century (1800s).  

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