Earth under the Nails: the Extraordinary Return to the Land

Farran, Sue (2013) Earth under the Nails: the Extraordinary Return to the Land. In: Modern Studies in Property Law. Modern Studies in Property Law, 7 . Hart, Oxford, pp. 173-191. ISBN 9781849463218

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From the permaculture of edible forest gardens to the transient floral displays of guerrilla gardeners on urban wasteland, people in England and Wales are getting back to the land in rural and urban areas, in towns and villages. Their motives for doing so are varied and diverse, ranging from the desire to establish self-sufficient networks of local food coalitions to re-establishing the lost acres of English orchards under community orchard schemes. Instead of selling the land, people want to dig it, plant it, experience it. There are now over 1,000 community gardens, 82 school farms and over 100,000 people on waiting lists for allotments. Yet the legal framework which regulates these various projects is fragmented, poorly signposted and often absent. In some cases there are statutory protections afforded to land users and cultivators, in other cases projects seem to depend entirely on the goodwill of landowners. The language of leases, tenants, associations, permissions and consents rambles like bindweed through the websites of enthusiastic food growers, environmentalists and tree-huggers with very little specificity. There are moreover a number of different players involved, from the National Trust to parish councils, private land owners, farmers seeking diversification, and large corporations cashing in on the ‘grow your own food’ frenzy.
This paper explores the present climate of going back to the land and examines the legal frameworks which are being used by the diverse projects taking place in the UK, seeking to establish whether there is any coherency in the law and whether the interests of all parties are being safeguarded in a sustainable way.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: L900 Others in Social studies
M100 Law by area
M200 Law by Topic
Department: Faculties > Business and Law > Northumbria Law School
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Sue Farran
Date Deposited: 07 Aug 2013 12:50
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2019 22:26

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