On Wednesday 17th January Professor Richard Oram spoke about his recently completed two-year project on the environmental history of the Tay, from the arrival of the first hunter-gatherers until the present day. This was an inspiring overview of the mass of material he is about to transform into a series of books. His gallop through the ages revealed a host of fascinating details, not least that the elites’ monopoly of the hunting forests, however unjust, tended to ensure their preservation. Above all we learned how greatly humans have altered the landscape and the river since earliest times and how seemingly untouched rural spots may be sullied by industrial pollution.
As a policy advisor, Professor Oram is well placed to ensure the lessons of history inform current decision-making.