Marion Shoard | Writer : Broadcaster : Speaker

Book - This Land is Our Land

This Land is Our Land - 1997 Edition
This Land is Our Land - 1997
Published - 1997
Publisher - Gaia Books
No. Pages - 520
ISBN - 1-85675-064-7

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This Land is Our Land
This Land is Our Land - 1987

Published - 1987
Publisher - Collins: Grafton Books, Paladin Imprint
No. Pages - 592
ISBN - 0-586-08473-8

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Currently Out-of-Print

Who owns the most fundamental resource in Britain - our land? How have Britain’s landowners managed to fight off the succession of challenges they have faced since William the Conqueror’s henchmen appropriated vast estates? If, as many of the descendants of those Norman barons believe, the countryside is their birthright, where does it leave the rest of us and not least those who share the 17th-century Diggers’ belief that ‘the earth is a common treasury for all mankind’?

How can landowners justify stopping the rest of us from strolling beside the streams, rivers and lakes of our native land? Why should the wealth tied up in land not be taxed at a time when middle-income and poor people are having to face cuts in public services and benefits? How could a land tax generate new revenue and help improve our environment in the process?

I examine the pattern of ownership of land in the UK, from the gold-dust estates of Bloomsbury and Belgravia to the deer forests of Sutherland. I chronicle the history of the struggle over land rights at home and abroad. I examine the extent of landowners’ power – not only over land, but also over the social structure of the countryside and on the national stage. I analyse the key conflicts over the use of the countryside. I propose a new social contract between landowners and the people as a whole to enable the benefits of land ownership to be more widely shared.

  1. Table of contents This Land is Our Land - Table of Contents
  2. Preface to the 1997 edition
  3. Introduction to the 1997 edition
  4. Preface to the 1987 edition
  5. Sample sections
  6. Reviews