My article “The Charter of the Forest” on the Magna Carta 2015 Canada website looks at the Charter passed during the reign of King John’s son, Henry III that expanded on the forest clauses in the Magna Carta. In 1215, nearly one third of the land in England consisted of forest. Today, the word “forest” describes a densely wooded area but the term meant something very different in the thirteenth century. Forests in King John’s time were lands where the King enjoyed a monopoly over all management and distribution of resources. The 1217 Charter of the Forest transformed these spaces into lands managed by villages for the common good of their residents. The lasting legacy of the Charter of the Forest is the precedent for community stewardship of shared resources that endures into the twenty-first century.
Click here to read the full article “The Charter of the Forest” on the Magna Carta 2015 Canada website