Who Owns England? is a fierce book that will make you angry and with good reason. You’ll learn how less than 1% of the population owns England and 60,000 homes have lain empty for over 2 years, while thousands are homeless. An area the size of London is taken over for private grouse-shoots (which flattens land to cause floods).
Ten times more money is spent on golf courses than allotments to grow local organic food. Behind these figures is the country’s oldest and best-kept secret – how England’s elite came to own our land. And there follows an inspiring manifesto to open up our countryside to all, once more.
Since 1086, England’s elite have owned millions of acres of land by constructing walls, burying surveys and sheltering behind offshore shell companies. But now with the dawn of digital mapping and the Freedom of Information Act, the author legally trespasses through tightly-guarded country estates, empty Mayfair mansions and ecologically-ravaged grouse moors to discover how to uncover the mass wealth of the few, and find ways take back our power.
From secret military islands to tunnels deep beneath London, the author unearths truths concealed since the Domesday Book on who really is in charge of England. And how taking control of land ownership is key to tackling the housing crisis, climate change and democracy. Guy Shrubsole is a former campaigner/investigator for Friends of The Earth.
A formidable, brave and important book. Robert Macfarlane
about the author
Guy Shrubsole is a former campaigner for Friends of the Earth. He also wrote a book on the lost rainforests of Britain.