Marion Shoard | Writer : Broadcaster : Speaker

Land Use Conflicts

In 1977 I left my job at the national office of the Council for the Protection of Rural England to take up a research fellowship from the Sidney Perry Foundation to examine the changes being wrought on England's countryside by modern farming and to explore the steps which might be taken to prevent further change. This research bore fruit in my book The Theft of The Countryside.

In This Land is Our Land I sought to address the fundamental conflict between what those who own land want from their possession and what the community as a whole seek from land. I have written many articles covering different aspects of this fundamental divide.


The Theft of the Countryside(1980, Maurice Temple Smith)

This Land is Our Land (1987, Grafton Books; 1997, A Gaia Classic: Gaia Books)


Many, including:

'Fields which Planners should Conquer' (Forma, Vol. 4, No. 3, 1976)

'The Cuts and the Countryside' (Rucksack, Winter 1980)

'A Plan to Save the Landscape' (The Sunday Times, 18 January 1981

'The Theft of the Countryside: A Reply to the Critics' (The Countryman, Spring 1981)

'Whose Countryside?' (Summer School Report of Proceedings, Royal Town Planning Institute, 1981)

'The People's Countryside' (New Statesman, 23 April 1982)

'Viewpoint: Avoiding Destruction' (Footloose, No. 3, October 1982)

'Getting the Best from our Growing Green Acres' (The Guardian, 1 May 1987)

'No Space for Parks: why Scotland is without National Parks' No Space for Parks: why Scotland is without National Parks (The Geographical Magazine, June 1987)

'Free the Countryside for the People' (The Listener, 18 June 1987)

A regular column entitled 'Lie of the Land', in the monthly magazine Environment Now (October 1987 to June 1990)
'Lie of the Land' - Environment Now - Green Belt - 1 'Lie of the Land' (Green Belt - 1)
'Lie of the Land' - Environment Now - Green Belt - 2 'Lie of the Land' (Green Belt - 2)
'Lie of the Land' - Environment Now - Migrating Birds Lie of the Land (Migrating Birds)

A regular column entitled 'Country Matters' in Today newspaper (1987 - 1988)

'Ulster : the Need for Control' 'Lie of the Land' (Green Belt - 1) (Landscape, February, 1988)

'Scarred Slopes' 'Lie of the Land' (Green Belt - 1) (Landscape, May 1988)

'Parks with a Difference' (The Times, 27 March 1989)

'Farming for the Future' (The Daily Telegraph, 10 June, 1989)

'Forests: Profit with Pleasure' 'Lie of the Land' (Green Belt - 1) (The Times, 17 June 1989)

'Rape of the Countryside' (The Times, 10 July 1989)

'Cutting the Cost of Countryside Protection' (The Times, 21 August 1989)

'Maintaining the Distinction' (Town and Country Planning, Vol. 58, No. 9, September 1989)

'Clearing the Air with a Tax' (The Times, 15 September 1989)

'Why Agricultural Set-aside Should be Set Aside' (The Times, 5 October 1989)

'Patten is not quite as Green as he might' Look (The Times, 1 November 1989)

'Farming for the Future' (The Daily Telegraph, 10 June 1989)

'Too Precious, too Scottish to be left with the Scots' (The Times, 31 June 1990)

'How are we going to keep them down in the Village?' (The Times, 25 August 1990)

'Birds of Passage Betrayed by Brussels ' (The Times, 29 September 1990)

'Woodman, Spare us this Cash Demand' (The Times, 16 February 1991)

'Stop Fencing in Nature' (The Times, 23 March 1991)

'Who will best care for the Countryside?' (The Times, 1 April, 1991)

'Folly down on the Farm' 'Lie of the Land' (Green Belt - 1) (The Guardian, 29 November 1991)

'Hunting the Hunters' (The Times , 1 January 1992)

'Getting Back to the Land' (The Times, 18 April 1992)

'Hands off the British hedgerow' 'Lie of the Land' (Green Belt - 1) (The Times, 18 July 1992)

'Law of the Land' (The Guardian, 17 July, 1996)

'Should Petrol Prices and Fuel Tax be Cut?' The Independent on Sunday , 9 July, 2000 )