Landscape may be defined as “…vistas encompassing both nature and the changes that humans have effected on the natural world.” (Liz Wells).
Following the last Ice Age, much of the West Lancashire Coastal Plain was covered with marshland characterized by shallow seasonal lakes filling depressions in the glacial drift. To bring the land into agricultural production for the developing industrial towns of northwest England, the peat moss was criss-crossed by hand-dug drainage ditches and single-track lanes. The top surface of moss was removed, dried and burned and the marshland ploughed with horses shod with oval boards to prevent sinking. After a few years of growing rye, oats and grass, the land could be used for market garden crops.