The way humans use land across the British Isles has changed beyond recognition during the past 8,000 years.
But what impact has that had on biodiversity and are there lessons from the past that could enhance conservation practices now and in the future?
Those are among the key questions being posed through new research led by the University of Plymouth, in conjunction with Historic England and the University of Birmingham.
Funded by the Leverhulme Trust, it hopes to compile the first ever comprehensive database of both land use change and its impact on plant and insect life.
The three-year project will involve collating existing archaeobotanical datasets, which will be used to generate a detailed picture of how land use has changed at regional levels.
Historical pollen and insect data will then be used to demonstrate what impact those changes had on crops, and many of the creatures that came to rely on them.
The ultimate aim of the research is to place current trends in their long-term context, examining whether changes in land use can predict patterns of biodiversity across different spatial scales.
This information will then be presented to conservation agencies, giving them a holistic picture of biodiversity in the British Isles over the past eight millennia which can be factored into future policy.