Over the past 10,000 years, mankind has transformed the landscapes around the Mediterranean into a large variety of characteristic rural regions (‘terroirs’ in French), resulting in a complex mosaic of gardens, arable fields, vineyards, olive groves and other fruit trees, pastureland, semi-natural woodlands, macchia and garrigue and dry grasslands. This transformation has been slow and gradual, rural areas typically being areas where it takes a very long time to change things.