Land Gift Movement

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In Totnes, Devon, UK:

"The Giving Land Away (how?) group discussed ways of establishing a Land Gift movement to encourage owners to transfer their property rights to organisations like Community Land Trusts to provide land that people can afford in perpetuity. They identified that this requires the development of legal models to enable co-operation between land owners and land users." (


Inez Laponte, on other similar groups:

"The Setting up an Earth Sharing Devon network group wanted to see a network that connects owners and managers of land with people who want access. They explored creative approaches to land sharing such as taking beehives to orchards and flashmob grazing. They decided to work with existing groups like the Land Projects Network (LPN) Devon which links offers of unused or under-used agricultural land with volunteers who want to work on the land. The project enables under-used land to be brought into production and brings people back to the land. As the result of contacts made at the conference, the LPN has put in a bid to an EU Innovation Fund.

Gaining planning permission for low-impact homes on agricultural or forest land

As Simon Fairlie pointed out, the key to this approach is to have enough land to support its inhabitants who do not use it as a base for commuting to work elsewhere.

The Creating a Trust to enable caravans (etc) within a collective space for food production group discussed the need for simple small scale dwellings with access to land, and another group discussed how to enable people to build low impact 'hobbit' homes surrounded by forage areas.

People identified two sources of expertise in this field. One is Simon Fairlie, who leads the campaigning and organisation organisation Chapter 7 which provides free planning advice and publishes the DIY Planning Handbook. The other is the Ecological Land Co-operative, which purchases degraded agricultural land and applies for planning permission for low-impact smallholdings with temporary residences. They provide a renewable energy source, water supply, road access, and a shared barn made of natural and local materials. Then then sell long-term leasehold agreements for the smallholdings at an affordable rate.

Challenging the ownership of land or the planning system

The group discussing living in caravans, no doubt inspired by Simon Fairlie's talk, identified the strengths of caravans as a home that allows its owner to move on. They also discussed the ways that fear and control stop people living, thriving, surviving and making a safe place for themselves. They discussed the possibilities of buying land and turning it into a traveller site; or challenging the ownership of land by moving onto crown estate land an demanding land rights for all.

They plan to form a local group for people who want to live on the land in caravans – a meeting for action. They would like to create a physical space in town where there is information about planning, permission, updates etc. And to build a relationship between secure land projects and political struggles for land rights.

Land Value Tax (Location Fees, Stewardship Dues)

Several groups discussed a Land Value Tax as a possible approach to the allocation of land and reduction of inequalities.

The Looking at the connection between inequality, land and location group questioned whether we ever own land and wondered how we can divide up land for use as partitioned plots without introducing inequality. They discussed whether a location fee (Land Value Tax) could achieve this. One resource for anybody in Devon interested in Land Value Taxation is the Henry George Society of Devon which meets every quarter and provides speakers to other groups on request (including schools) as well as informing MPs and writing. In addition they can put you in touch with Gareth Whelan, who offered to lead a conversation about location fees (Land Value Taxation) in a small group of half a dozen in the home of anybody who would like to bring a few friends together for a couple of hours." (