5/6 November: Charter of the Forest weekend celebration presented by New Putney Debates
Come and join in the celebration of historic and ongoing social struggles to secure ways to live equitably and sustainably on the land.
The New Putney Debates is celebrating the anniversary of the Charter of the Forest - the twin charter to the Magna Carta - over the weekend of 5/6 November, as part of the build up for the 800th anniversary of the Charter that falls next year. The Charter of the Forest granted rights to commoners to live from the land; in the forests, chases and commons of England and Wales.
Still relevant and radical today, the Charter granted the idea of a general right to a sustainable existence from the fruits of the commonwealth. The first ecological Charter, it provides for sustainable use of the land, with people over successive generations using it to keep land in common usage.
The upcoming weekend of events which The New Putney Debates collective (https://thenewputneydebates.
com ) is organising will explore the history behind the Charter of the Forest agreement and contemporary struggles for land - from the legends of Robin Hood, to fights and struggles to access land for food and against enclosure, and more contemporary social movements for housing, against privatisation and to protect local ecosystems, in the face of encroaching development.
Launching at with a boat trip to Hackney Marshes, which is still a commons, attendees will find out about the history of land use there, including recent efforts by local people to ensure that Olympic regeneration did not ruin the local habitat and to keep land publicly accessible. The Fordham Gallery barge will then return to its mooring in Hackney Wick to exhibit a timeline, from London's early beginnings, of the historic struggles for land and democracy in the city and Thames Valley, up to the end of the 13th century when the Charter of the Forest entered statute together with the Magna Carta. on
In the evening, starting at , Fordham Gallery will host a boat party, with Robin Grey leading a sing-a-long of Land and Housing protest songs from folk history, drawing on the show ‘3 Acres and a Cow’. This will be followed by an acoustic set from Pete Deane, Tim Flitcroft and friends, followed by pizza and a land and rebel song set. Please bring along your favourite track to play!
On , there will be a guided walking tour, exploring the history and meaning of the Charter of the Forest, starting at Lambeth Palace, where peace accords were agreed between the Barons and the King on 1217, and ending at StPaul's Cathedral, where the Charter was agreed on the 6th November 1217 .
: Boat Trip visit to the Hackney Marshes common land. Meet at Fordham Gallery Boat, River Lee, White Post Lane, Hackney Wick, E15. FREE
: Opening of the timeline. This shows a history of land-rights and protest in and around London and the Thames Valley, from the first settlement of London to the entering of the Charter of the Forest and the Magna Carta into statute in 1297. Venue: Fordham Gallery Boat, River Lee, White Post Lane, Hackney Wick, E15. FREE
until late: Lands & Housing Rights protest song sing-a long with Robin Grey, featuring songs from the ‘Three Acres and a Cow, followed by boat party with acoustic music and pizza, featuring musician Pete Deane, Tim Flitcroft and friends. Venue: Fordham Gallery Boat, River Lee, White Post Lane, Hackney Wick, E15. £5 tickets can be booked at https://www.eventbrite.com/
e/boat-party-charter-of-the- forest-celebration-tickets- 28145723617
: Walking tour featuring important points in the development of the Charter of the Forest. Meet by the roundabout outside Lambeth Palace at , ends at St Paul’s Cathedral at about . FREE