Land (Chap 6)

Soil Health /Birth of the Earth


Land Use

Land Research

The Levellers were formed by Gerrard Winstanley from Wigan Lancashire, and celebrated in a local annual festival.
Look at the land
is a sister/brother site that looks at how the land (in North West) could look very different. Land is not static, it depends what we want to do with it

National Trust People's Landscapes

" that explores the role our own places have played in social change "

Not all Land

The land is ours have video of the Peoples Parliament discussing "Land Ownership: who owns our country?" chaired by John McDonald.
Land rights have been fought over for years. In the 1640s and 50s, the Levellers and Diggers, fought against the enclosures. Hear Chumbawomba (local group from Brierfield just over Pendle Hill) sing 'World turned upside down' by Leon Rosselsohn (words & tune here..).
If Britain really loves its countryside, it's time for a revolution, according to 'Our Place' by Mark Cocker who "believes the sacred rural idyll beloved by the public is largely owned by rich people, farmed intensively to deliver cheap food, bickered over by fractious conservation bodies and denuded of wildlife. It can be beautiful but it is ‘almost devoid of biodiversity".
More land has been publicly marketed in last year than last 10,
It can be done! Scottish land reform allows tenants to take control - at a price! After "years of underdevelopment under the Sutherland Estate - one of Scotland's biggest landowners - and the prospect of shaping their own future convinced, the residents of Garbh Allt in the Scottish Highlands took the leap, and in June 2018 the land was sold into community ownership
Half of England is owned by less than 1% of population. Jon Trickett, Shadow said:"“The dramatic concentration of land ownership is an inescapable reminder that ours is a country for the few and not the many. " Shrubsole says "“The aristocracy and gentry still own around 30% of England...“a handful of newly moneyed industrialists, oligarchs and City bankers” own around 17% of England. "

Land Use Challenges - increased pressure make managing land ever more complex

Land Rush: The Sellout of Europe's Farmland says: " We need a European debate of the future of land ownership and agricultural concentration, to enable us to join forces in forging a new social contract for the future of our land."

Who own England's grouse moors?

Land values

May drop by 1/5 as a result of Brexit. "Property experts Savills said farmland was likely to be the worst-hit sector in the entire UK residential and commercial property sector"..however
English land prices resilient to Brexit (Jan '19) "The value of farmland is being supported by strong interest from lifestyle buyers, investors and high net worth individuals, with farmers accounting for less than half of all purchases in 2018. " "the immediate future lack of supply is anticipated to support values. "

Who Owns England? Guy Shrubsole "Behind this simple question lies this country’s oldest and best-kept secret. This is the history of how England’s elite came to own our land, and an inspiring manifesto for how to open up our countryside once more...Shrubsole unearths truths concealed since the Domesday Book about who is really in charge of this country – at a time when Brexit is meant to be returning sovereignty to the people. "

Bittersweet Brexit Chap 6 Land:

"In April 2016 the European Commission took the first steps in legal infraction against the UK government in relation to the burning of blanket bog in Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) in all of northern England, saying our government had not carried out a risk assessment as required by the Habitats Directive". (Stanley Johnson - father of Boris and Jo - made this Directive happen). In 2017, the EC sent a final warning.

I wonder what has happened to that?

The highest bidder The Highest Bidder Takes It All: The World Bank’s Scheme to Privatize the Commons details how the Bank’s prescribes reforms, via a new land indicator in the Enabling the Business of Agriculture (EBA) project, promotes large-scale land acquisitions and the expansion of agribusinesses in the developing world.

Land Rights

History of Land Rights and protest in song - '3 Acres and a cow' (see origin below)
Assarting is the act of clearing forested lands for use in agriculture or other purposes. In English land law, it was illegal to assart any part of a Royal forest without permission. This was the greatest trespass that could be committed. I lived in on a farm - off Woodhouse Lane - in the heart of assarting in Newton and Slaidburn, Lancashire and mentioned in the of the Making of the Central Pennines. Our farm(s) were allocated by Duchy of Lancaster in 1621 - avoiding any assarters. For more
The Duchy of Lancaster (aka Queen) still owns neighbouring land - and receives around £1/4 million in EU subsidies. Whatever happens we want to get our hands on that. Having seen her recent programme Green Plant showing her love of trees, where she is promoted a Commonwealth Canopy, I'm going to write to her suggesting she starts here - by getting rid of the heather moor for orouse shooting and replacing with forest - lovely mixed woods with fruits and nuts. Good for health good for Climate change and good for the soil.

Land Nationalisation

Land nationalisation seems to have been dropped off all political agendas. Which is surprising when some of the push for Brexit was to 'control our borders'. It seems that does not include controlling our land more.
Yet over 130 years ago, Alfred Russel Wallace was the president of the Land Nationalisation Society. Do you remember his name? He was the co-founder of the theory of evolution, but a bit more interesting than the other co-founder - Charles Darwin!
Click to read book dedication

Community Ownership

Community ownership should become a “normal and realistic” option for communities to acquire land and assets says report, prepared for Ministers by the Scottish Land Commission. It recommends that there needs to be a “clear vision” for how community ownership can become a mainstream way to deliver development and regeneration in rural communities.
Falls in land coming to market in Wales, Scotland and England. There was significant drop in land sales in mid 2018 due to Brexit uncertainty. The picture for sales is very mixed. The very best properties are making record prices, but farms that require investment, or with no potential to generate additional income streams, are not. More in Farmland Market
The extent of County Farms (those owned by local authorities to let to young and first time buyers), has halved in last 40 years - from nearly half a million acres to less than a quarter. The origin of County Farms came during late Victorian agricultural depression. In a letter to Joseph Chamberlain (Theresa May’s political hero) the phrase “three acres and a cow” was used by land reformers and later used by 'distributists' in 1920s. This was believed adequate for people to live on.
Full extent of decline in County farms. There has been a decrease of 3% in local authority farms in a year, described as "a major blow to the agricultural industry and its new entrants. "
Conference on future of Country Farms

Land Use

National Trust are " developing a new model for supporting green land management". Numbers of small farms in decline. CPRE Uncertainty - does loss of small farms matter?
British Ecological Society in 'Finding the Common ground' agreed "There should be an agro-ecological approach to food production including biodiversity conservation. This should maintain land that is productive, rich in wildlife, culturally rich and accessible for the enjoyment of wider society without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."
Landworker Alliance Productivity of small farms Many permaculture plots look – and are – good – in showing what our land is capable of. However we have seen through the book, we can produce food relatively easily. What is difficult is producing it and making a living while doing so. Many alternative initiatives do not factor in labour – which is usually voluntary, or subsidised.

Climate Change Committee says changes in land use must happen: "Change provides the opportunity to maximise the use of land as a natural store for carbon and as a regulator of natural hazards such as flooding....This includes increased tree planting, improved forest management, restoration of peatlands, and shifts to low-carbon farming practices, which improve soil and water quality. "

Agro-environment Schemes

The Agro-environmental schemes have proved pretty ineffective and not very favourable with farmers because ofr cumbersom procedures. Bittersweet Brexit spelt out how agro-environment schemes as they are at present do little for the environment.
The CLA, NFU, TFA, CAAV, FWAG, GWCT, The Wildlife Trusts, RSPB and the National Trust wrote to the Environment Secretary calling for a commitment to ensure those in England with a Countryside Stewardship agreement are not at a disadvantage when the Government launches a new and improved system of environmental land management payments after EU exit.
Land Banks.
Pension funds buying Green Belt land to make money