prospect and refuge

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I wanted to come back to the cover of the Adventure Travel brochure and ask – why is this image so appealing to people? J. Appleton and E.O.Wilson have both examined the propensity of Homo Sapiens to be drawn to landscapes with good ‘prospect’ and ‘refuge’ possibilities that stems from our time as hunter gatherers. This landscape often associated with this is savanna-like. Gently rolling hills punctuated by clumps of trees and water are optimal habitat in this respect. Look at the image above. Appleton points out the importance of prospect and refuge symbols in landscape painting and equally importantly in parks and gardens. Given the nature of land management practices in Highland Estates is it surprising that we end up with our ‘ideal’ landscapes looking like the above picture? Recent work on the Mar Lodge estate by NTS has revealed that large parts of the estate that was thought to be remnants of the Caledonian forest is now thought to have been planted and designed.

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