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Leona Skelton. Second Tuesday – ‘Tyne after Tyne: An Environmental History of a River’s Battle for Protection 1529 – 2015’
10 January 2017 @ 19:00 - 21:00
Leona Skelton’s work focuses on the two-way interactions between people and natural forces, resources and systems. She is particularly interested in the origins and historic development of environmental attitudes and governance and how dramatic environmental change has shaped economic, cultural and social lives and livelihoods across northern England and Scotland between 1500 and the present day. Her doctoral research investigated the regulation of key bio-physical flows of water, manure, blood, urine and industrial waste products in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century British townscapes, revealing remarkably well organised and effective systems of environmental regulation. Her first post-doctoral research project used oral history to explore the environmental history of twentieth-century Kielder, in the North Tyne valley in Northumberland, revealing how local people’s economic, social and cultural lives were reshaped by successive environmental changes from sheep farming, to commercial forestry, to the creation of Kielder Reservoir and large-scale tourism. Her second post-doctoral research project tracked the environmental history of north-east England’s River Tyne (1529-2015), reconnecting the sub-themes of the river’s fish life, sanitation, pollution, riparian industry, riverine knowledge, regeneration, conservation, recreation and environmental governance. This project revealed the two-way socio-environmental entanglements between this nationally and once internationally strategic river and the people who used, abused, protected, enjoyed and re-engineered its water, channel and course over five centuries.