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From Soot to Saplings: Integrating Industrial Pasts into Public Demands for Environmental Sustainability



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Gleave, Kieran 


At a time when environmental sustainability is demanded across the public spectrum, the pollutive and productive legacies of the industrial past are increasingly viewed as antitheses of our visions for greener futures. Moving forwards, the public-facing professional, governmental, volunteer and commercial networks which manage Britain’s industrial archaeologies and heritages face a challenging task: integrating industrial pasts with contentious climate legacies into public visions for environmental sustainability. To explore potential avenues for this integration, this article discusses trophic and passive approaches to ‘rewilding’ defunct industrial sites and landscapes. By drawing from visits to the National Trust’s Castlefield Viaduct Pilot Project and the Upper Peak Forest Canal, I explore the merits of each rewilding strategy and discuss their potentials to secure sustainable re-uses for industrial sites: both those presently defunct and those which face closure through future deindustrialisation



Public Archaeology, Industrial Archaeology, Rewilding, Cultural Heritage, Industrial Archaeology

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Archaeology and the Publics

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I would like to acknowledge the Economic and Social Research Council’s Doctoral Training Partnership (ESRC DTP) for funding my ongoing PhD Project, which has made the publication of this article possible.