I am currently working on a project that compares and contrasts the histories of national parks and Areas of Outstanding Beauty in England and Wales. I am interested in the historical legacy of landscape protection, and in particular its affect on access and recreation.
More broadly, my research interests cover landscape history and the development of ideas of natural beauty; outdoors recreation from walking and hiking to the rise of high-adrenaline or ‘extreme’ sports like mountaineering, mountain biking and surfing; and methods of researching and writing about restricted or ‘off-limits’ places. I am developing a methodology of walking as a research tool for historians.
My doctoral thesis explored the environmental history of military training areas in Britain, as part of the AHRC-funded ‘Militarized Landscapes in the Twentieth Century: Britain, France and the US’ project that ran at Bristol University from 2007-2011. It was published as a monograph in 2012. Military environmentalism, and militarized space, continues to be a research interest and led me to explore other restricted and/or protected landscapes.
I have held fellowships at the Library of Congress (Washington DC) and the Rachel Carson Centre for Environment and Society (Munich), and I am a member of the ‘Local Places, Global Processes: Histories of Environmental Change’ research network.
An Environmental History of the UK Defence Estate, 1945 to the present (London: Continuum 2012)
‘Traces of conflict: environment and eviction in British military training areas, 1943-present’, Journal of War and Culture Studies Special Issue: Traces of Conflict (forthcoming, May 2013)
‘Defending Nation, Defending Nature? Military Landscapes and Military Environmentalism in Britain, France and the United States’, Environmental History (July 2011), 465-91, co-authored with Peter Coates, Tim Cole and Chris Pearson
‘Greening the MoD: A Fairy (Shrimp) Tale of Military Environmentalism’ in Pearson, Coates & Cole (eds.), Militarized Landscapes: From Gettysburg to Salisbury Plain (London: Continuum 2010), 135-149