Deforestation of the European Wilderness, The Great Clearings

1050 CE - 1300 CEEurope

"The period of rapid growth from about 1050 to 1300 saw a transformation of the European landscape from one predominantly forested, 'a sylvan sea with only isolated islands of human habitation,' to one where forests had been reduced to isolated fragments...Settlers saw woods as a barrier and often burned them off. 'Everywhere, the forest receded before the logger's axe and the settlers' plow....The removal of Europe's forest cover was as complete by 1300 as it is today." The historic age of “The Great Clearings” of deforestation in Europe ended with the Black Death in 1350.

Hughes, J. Donald. "An Environmental History of the World: Humankind's Changing Role in the Community of Life." London: Routledge, 2009. 89-90.