Published: 6th Jun 2013

As councils come under pressure to divest their woodlands, parks and green spaces, we need a radical rethink of how we manage land, argues Mark Walton from Shared Assets. Questions of who owns and controls land are woven deep into our history. However, with the notable exception of Scotland, there has been relatively little recent public debate regarding the ownership and control of our natural assets. Now, constraints on public finances and the retrenchment of the state, both locally and nationally, are beginning to bring issues of land ownership back onto the public agenda. Public authorities are reviewing their asset holdings and considering how they can divest themselves of some of their responsibilities for the management of land-based public assets such as woodlands, parks and green spaces. The protests over proposals to sell off parts of the public forest estate demonstrate that there is strong belief among the general public that … (To read the full article, subscribe below)