The landscapes we see today are the result of the interaction of humans and nature. Natural environments have been modified by the cultural activities of people, and each generation has changed the landscape, leaving its own marks superimposed on what went before.
Analysing and interpreting these changes is the task of landscape studies, which are undertaken by people from many disciplinary backgrounds, including geographers, historians, archaeologists and ecologists. Landscape studies use fieldwork and a wide range of evidence sources, including old maps and documents, place names, and aerial photographs.
Landscape studies help us understand how present-day landscapes evolved, and so can inform decisions about their future management.