The countryside and it's amenities of wildlife, landscape beauty and recreational opportunity was created by traditional agricultural practices. Modern farming techniques no longer supply these amenities as an automatic, incedental by-product of food production. If they are to continue to be enjoyed, then specific provision must be made for them. Agricultural policy in Europe is now beginning to do this by redirecting sustantial agricultural support to the promotion of enviromentally-friendly farming practices. A wide variety of initiatives in forestary, conservation, hydrology and other sectors are also developing to promote the growing discipline of Countryside management to implement coservation objectives in the countryside. These objectives are themselves now being reassessed as principles from the new discipline of landscape ecology are incorporated into landscape planning and management, and the opportunities for redesigning the countryside offered by overcapacity in agriculture are beginning to be recognised and exploited.
A significant shift is taking place fron the implementation of conservation objectives through planning mechanisms focuses largely on designated protected areas, to their attainment through management incentives for environmentally-friendly farming in the countryside as a whole This third edition of the standard text Countryside Conservation charts and evaluates those changes which represent a fundamental revolution of the ways in which the countryside is planned and managed. It sets out the principles, policies and practice which underlie the ecology, planning and management of the new countryside, discussing ways in which countryside conservation objectives are evolving and how they can best be achieved.