Frank Mitchell and Michael Ryan have successfully undertaken the task of giving in one book the story of the shaping of the land from the beginning of time until now, by all the varying forces of nature, sea, climate, man and machine. The story takes in the shaping of the crust, the movement of glaciers, the first men and their primitive agriculture, their buildings and their effects on the forests, the growth of bogs, new migrations, the rise of the monasteries of the Early Christians and the castles of conquest, the devastation of war, urban growth, modern agriculture and afforestation, all set against the backdrop of the landscape, arguably one of Ireland's most precious resources.
This book examines many little understood aspects of the Irish Landscape from the last Ice Age until now. Historians, archaeologists, biologists and earth scientists each bring their unique take on how the landscape and the life it supports have been crafted by natural and human events. The book gives a fresh glimpse of how Ireland's unique and stunning ecosystem has evolved. The latest scientific theories, techniques and methods are used to bring readers up-to-date on each of these remarkable stories. The book also celebrates the pioneering work of Robert Lloyd Praeger. In 1895 Praeger began a pilgrimage across Ireland that was to last five years. His aim was to chart the distribution of all plants across the country.
Written by Robert Lloyd Praeger, Ireland's greatest field botanist and published in 1937, this enduring celebration of the Irish landscape is the result of five years of weekends spent walking a mazy 5,000 miles across hills and bogs, swimming through flooded caverns, sifting fossil bones and exploring cattle-trampled tombs.