I wonder what the view was like in the Bronze Age?
Perhaps it hasn't changed as much as we might think. Man-made hedge systems to contain livestock have been radio-carbon dated to 2500 BC. "We see a marked increase in land use and settlement from the start of the Bronze Age. There is a huge increase in all sorts of archaeological evidence after about 2500 BC, by which time substantial areas of woodland had been cleared of trees. The revelation of the extent of Bronze Age fields and farming has been one of the most important discoveries in British archaeology." (from 'The making of the British Landscape' by Francis Pryor)