Who Owns England? by Guy Shrubsole review. Why this land isn’t your land (The Guardian, 28 Apr 2019)

  • Who Owns England? by Guy Shrubsole review – why this land isn’t your land
  • By Tim Adams. Published in the Guardian on 28 April 2019
  • Summary:
    • Since the Domesday Book set the standard for a comprehensive land ownership survey –in part so the conqueror could hoover up some of the choicest millions of acres for the crown and its appetite for the hunt– England has never properly addressed the issue.
    • The last major attempt at land reform, which involved a census of ownership, was attempted by the Liberal government of David Lloyd George and Winston Churchill in 1909; it led to constitutional crisis, neutered proposals and partial data.
    • One of the most telling facts in Guy Shrubsole’s book is the revelation that the Land Registry –a body that George Osborne wanted to privatise– possesses details of the ownership of only 83% of England’s green and pleasant plot. Knowledge of the other 17% remains out of bounds even to parliament. (...)
    • Two-thirds of land in the UK as a whole –40m acres– is owned by 0.36% of the population; 24m families, meanwhile, share the “urban plot” of 3m acres.
  • Keywords: land registry, land property, England, United Kingdom (UK)
The article is a review of the book "Who Owns England?: How We Lost Our Green and Pleasant Land, and How to Take It Back" by campaigner and researcher Guy Shrubsole: https://www.harpercollins.com/9780008321697/who-owns-england-how-we-lost-our-green-and-pleasant-land-and-how-to-take-it-back/