The Charter of the Forest: its importance for today

By Julie Timbrell, of The New Putney Debates and Occupy London

Celebrations to mark the 800th anniversary next year of the Charter of the Forest get underway next month in preparation for some big events next year. While the Magna Carta of 1215 is now much more famous, the Charter of the Forest of 1217 at the time was certainly as important, maybe more so, because it gave commoners rights, privileges and protection against the abuses of the king, his sheriffs and the encroaching aristocracy. Crucially it allowed people to subsist and have access to the commonwealth, in the forests, chases and heaths. Continue reading