The history of landscape always runs in cycles. In England there have been periods of intense cultivation, when great swathes of forest were burned down to make way for crop-growing in times of peace, or cut down to build entire armadas of ships in times of war. Cities and towns have risen up, and declined again back to dust.
For example, before the Romans invaded Britain they had been trading there for some time. They knew what they were getting into and they knew how it could be improved. The country already had a good reputation for running excellent farms and so the Romans marched on in and upgraded the native technology. With new iron-tipped ploughs as only the first of many improvements, the British soon found themselves forced to adopt an entirely different way of life including baths, wine, garlic – and even literacy. In return, the invaders endured the weather. When they departed several hundred years later, the Romans left behind them a legacy of culture and civilisation which almost immediately disappeared. Their beautiful and efficient villas fell into disuse. The inheritors had no idea how to use the technology and anyway they believed the buildings were haunted, so they stole the bricks and anything else they could see the use of and left the rest to rot. Imagine those ghost-towns - great forums and marketplaces, industrious villa complexes, the temples, the baths – all abandoned to become silent, hidden, spooky places occupied only by the spirits of their former occupants.