Reading the history of farmland 'enclosures' in Britain, countless tenants were evicted so that landowners could amalgamate their small strips and convert them from arable to pasture for sheep rearing. Wool was more profitable and required much fewer workers and the transition resulted in mass poverty and migration to the city slums of the industrial revolution. Landlords also demolished workers cottages to avoid the cost of maintenance, until parliament legislated against the practice by taxing the land at a higher rate until the buildings were reconstructed. The theft of land from indigenous peoples and subsequent pastoralisation of NZ and Australia were extensions of this industry so there is an ugly social cost to a rural landscape that people see as 'clean, 'green' and 'natural'.

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