6,000 Years of Deforestation
12,000 years ago, only 4% of the world’s temperate forests were still unoccupied. Across European continent, hunter-gatherers survived by scauting for food in this mysterious unknown landscape, slightly altering the environment and appearance of the surrounding wildwood.
But it was the domestication of cereals and farm animals that contributed to the first substantial explosion of deforestation. About 6,000 years ago, Britain's first farmers began to cut forests to set up the first fields.
The prehistoric forests have given way to an extensively farmed and settled landscape. Nowadays, just 13% of the United Kingdom is covered by forests, of which only 2.5% is more than 400 years old.
Below is a a wonderful scrollytelling world maps created by Inkcap Journal illustrating how land use has changed around the globe over the last 8,000 years.
Animated version of the world map is here.