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Charter of the Forest 800 celebrates the anniversary of the charter first issued in 1217 as a companion document to the better-known Magna Carta. For ordinary folk, the Charter of the Forest was a far more significant document than the Magna Carta because it aimed to stop royal encroachment of common land and protect the rights of commoners to gain their livelihood from commons resources.

It was also the first environmental charter, the first to offer a defence of the commons in general and a fundamental part of the British Constitution that stayed on the statute books longer than any other piece of legislation.

We aim to highlight the ongoing plunder of the commons, including through Fracking, privatisation, commercialisation, forced austerity and neglect and show how the principle in the Forest Charter responses point to solutions today.


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