For centuries, England’s elite have covered up how they got their hands on millions of acres of our land, by constructing walls, burying surveys and more recently, sheltering behind offshore shell companies. But with the dawn of digital mapping and the Freedom of Information Act, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for them to hide.
In June’s House Matters, Open House welcomes Guy Shrubsole, the author of the new book ‘Who Owns England?’. Cat Hobbs, the founder of ‘We Own It’, will be chairing the discussion and we’ll also have the Who Owns Oxford group demoing their new website which intends to visualise contemporary and historic land ownership in the County and tell stories of how it affects us all.
Trespassing through tightly-guarded country estates, ecologically ravaged grouse moors and empty Mayfair mansions, writer and activist Guy Shrubsole has used these 21st century tools to uncover a wealth of never-before-seen information about the people who own our land, to create the most comprehensive map of land ownership in England that has ever been made public.
From secret military islands to tunnels deep beneath London, 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. Melding history, politics and polemic, he vividly demonstrates how taking control of land ownership is key to tackling everything from the housing crisis to climate change – and even halting the erosion of our very democracy.
It’s time to expose the truth about who owns England – and finally take back our green and pleasant land