Here is the link to the wonderful talk by Dr Oliver Rackham on the history and ecology of the Mediterranean. This talk was given at the first Spring Conference of the Portugal Branch of the Mediterranean Garden Society.

Prof. Oliver Rackham OBE is a Life Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. He has studied and published extensively on the ecology of the Mediterranean and also the island of Crete. He is co-author of The Nature of Mediterranean Europe, an Ecological History. In 1998 he was awarded the OBE for “services to Nature Conservation”. In 2006 he was appointed Honorary Professor of Historical Ecology in the Department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge. We were delighted to welcome him for a rare visit to the Algarve.   Here is the link to the short video introduction by Professor Oliver Rackham.

Mediterranean gardeners are custodians of some very fragile habitats. Management methods and the plant choices we make are critical for long term sustainability and give us the opportunity to recover what has been lost in recently damaged landscapes.

The Nature of Mediterranean Europe – southern Portugal and Spain, France, Italy, the Balkans, Greece and the Mediterranean islands – is often interpreted as a “Lost Eden”, once verdant and fertile, then progressively degraded and desertified by human mismanagement and the ignorance and folly of successive civilizations. In his talk Prof. Rackham will seek to challenge this pessimistic view.