Newsletter 8

Newsletter 8

This is a representation of the TLIO Newsletter No 8. To simulate the layout of the Newsletter I’ve made heavy use of tables and assumed a resolution of 800×600 which may cause problems for text-only and some older browsers.

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THE LAND IS OURS Newsletter a landrights campaign in Britain

This Newsletter is sent to supporters free of charge no. 8 March 1997
Introducing… the destruction directorate John Gummer, the Environment Secretary, presents himself as a manvaliantly battling to save the countryside from development. He wants,he insists, to do all he can to stop the extra 4.4 million new households his department says will form by 2016 from despoiling rural areas. But, he regrets, only 50 or 60% of new housing can be built in the cities. Everyone agrees it’s very sad, and sympathises with Mr Gummer’s predicament. But where did the DoE’s figures come from? Of the 4.4m projected new homes, the DoE’s Green Paper on household growth tells us, 3.5m will house people living alone. This figure relies on the assumption that nearly everyone not legally married in 2016 will be living by themselves – there will be fewer cohabitees than there were in 1990. Yet cohabitation rates have been rising exponentially for 30years. Why does the DoE think they will go into reverse? “Er, we’ll get you on that one”. Six weeks after our first request, we’re still waiting. And why can’t more homes be built in cities? Not enough land, says the DoE. But a survey by British Gas Properties shows that there are at least 200,000 hectares of derelict urban land in Britain, more than enough even for 4.4m new homes. The real disincentive, as any property developer knows, is cost: the laxest planning regime in Britain for three decades has fuelled a speculative boom in urban land prices.  Building superstores, executive estates and millennium domes in cities is profitable, building affordable housing is not. Strangely, the Green Paper makes no mention of land prices, or of the planning guidance required to bring them down. The result is the best present developers could ever ask for: building in the countryside is cheaper and much more profitable than building in the towns.  So what’s going on? We might have a clue. There  is just one British government agency dedicated to promoting the interests of a single industry. It’s called the Construction Directorate, and it belongs to the Department of the Environment. Senior figures from the construction industry are seconded into it, and swing enormous influence within the department. Countryside? What countryside? George Monbiot

Heather! We now have a part-time paid administrator, Heather, which should mean your queries get answered more promptly.  If Heather’s not in the office the answerphone will have details of times when she’ll be in.Rural Settlement Forum The first meeting of the Rural Settlement Forum was at the Battlebridge Centre, KingsX in December.  There was a tremendous exchange of information on finding land, planning permission, co-operatives, community projects, self-build and taking legal struggles to the High court.  Many present were already working out their dream at sites such as Tipi Village, Tinkers Bubble, and Keveral Farm.  The next step will be a series of workshops at the Bi g Green Gathering, July 24-27th, with the aim of the formation of a rural settlers group.  A transcript of the talks at the December meeting as available from TLIO office.  The Rural Settlement Forum is looking for a new co-ordinator – see Needs list.  Temporary RSF contact:  Mike Fisher 01256 771477. Walk to the Lords The residents of Holtsfield near Swansea have been fighting to stave off eviction from land they’ve lived on since the thirties.  Their last chance of justice in the courts rests with a hearing at the House of Lords on 20th March.  Because they feel so strongly, residents will be walking all the way from Swansea to London to present their case.  Do join them if you can!   The walk takes place from the 1st – 20th March, and you could join them at various stages.  It will be starting at Swansea, passing through Port Talbot, Cowbridge, Cardiff, Newport, Caldicot, Frampton Cotterel, Bath, Hilperton, Devizes, Wootton Rivers, Kintbury, Oxford, Woolhampton, Reading, Windsor and Richmond, on the way to the House of Lords. Much of the route follows the lovely Kennet and Avon canal.  While the walk is in progress there will be a 24hr info. service updated daily with details of where you can find the walkers: 01792 232643.  For more general info. call Shelter, W ales, on 01792 469400. Forgive Us Our Trespasses I’m sure that those of us who support TLIO have never trespassed anywhere!! I know I haven’t – I simply don’t accept that any of the walks I have taken across our beautiful land can possibly constitute an offence of any kind, criminal, aggravated or otherwise. I have been considering undertaking a sponsored trespass of Britain for some time but only got around to submitting the idea to TLIO late last year.  The idea was well received and will now hopefully provide a focus for positive action in 1997.  Exact details about where and when will obviously remain secret until much nearer the time, so watch this space.   Actions will take place during late summer/early autumn 97. More information about these walks, picnics and camps will be through the newsletter. Jaffa (Bristol). If you’d like to help contact Jaffa via the Bristol Group.

Where does your money go? Accounts from Oct 1996 – Jan 1997 EXPENDITURE Stamps/Postage: £565.90 (£460.90 of this was for the newsletter) Printing: £543.00 (£269.24 of this was for the newsletter) Telephone: £515.34 Vol. Expenses: £455.21 (This includes travel, accom.(if doing a talk), food) Books: £259.61 (some of this we get back for the books we sell) Office supplies: £165.00 Membership of other orgs.: £145.80 Photocopying: £  65.83 (some of this we get back for the publications we sell) Total expenditure: £2148.59 Therefore the newsletter takes up the most money.  This normally comes out bi-monthly, although in these 4 months it came out only once due to moving office. Also note that there was no expenditure for actions in these four months. INCOME Payments for book/publications and donations: £1,410 Grants: £0,000 (no grant money given in these four months) We aim now to publish quarterly finance reports in the newsletter. T LIO National meetings Fri 11th – Sun 13th April. The Land Is Ours National Gathering, Oxford.  We are getting together to review past actions, plan actions for this year and discuss the general direction of TLIO for the first time since Wandsworth. Meeting at St.Aldates’ Parish Centre, Pembroke St., from 6-8pm on the Fri. Then moving on to a field near Oxford.  Bring a tent and eating gear.  For more details see the insert in this newsletter, or phone Jon on 01865 726126. Sat 8th March.  Low Impact Use Class Working Group, London.  The way the government and other commercial interests use the word ‘sustainability’ seems to have more to do with sustaining their profit margins!  As an answer to this ‘newspeak’ TLIO is drawing up a set of criteria for real sustainable land use, for planning agreements, and for lobbying.  With a panel of environmentalists, planners, and legal experts, this group looks set to produce an influential document for the future.  Contact Simon Fairlie on 01935 881975. Fri 21st – Sun 23rd  March.  Equinox Event, Low Impact Steering Group at Maes-y-Mynech, nr Oswestry, Wales, on the ‘Tree Spirit’ land.  Taking place on a site of breathtaking wild beauty.  There are camping spaces, and room in two caravans.  Bring warm clothes an d bedding, food to share and cook. Business includes selecting a new co-ordinator for the group. Contact Michael on 01405 720894 or 01904 647235, or pager 01426 249098, for steering group info, to let him know you’re coming and for details on how to get there.  For more venue details contact Gerald Dawe on 0121 428 2462. Sun March 23rd.  Gargoyle Wharf Community Action Group – public meeting. 4-6pm St.Peters Community Centre, 21 Plough Rd, London SW11.  This new group has been set up in Wandsworth by local residents who insist on having a say on the future of the Guinness site.  **The public enquiry has turned down Safeways plans** and the land is up for sale, local people are putting together their alternative vision.  ‘Planning For Real’ is coming to Wandsworth!  Contact Ernest on 0181 672 9698 or Len James 0181 870 3476. Mon 5th May.  Pure Genesis. 10 am, South Park Fulham, London SW6.  One year after The Land Is Ours occupied Guinness’ land we will be back in Wandsworth in strength, showing our support for people-led planning and celebrating the launch of the Boycott Guinness Campaign.  It’s a chance to meet up with old friends and make new ones.  We’ll be showing Guinness what we think of the bailiffs and bulldozers which, on Tuesday 5th October 1996, was their miserable response to a great environmental opportunity.  Contact Martin/Brendan on 0171 249 3765 or Dave / Charlotte on 0171 326 0227.

Other Meetings General Election: Hobson’s Choice?  Reclaim the Streets are planning a massive street event in central London for those who are not allowed to have a vote and for those who can’t find a party worth voting for.  Call 0171 281 4621 nearer election time for details. March/April Three Maasai speakers from Tanzania are touring the UK.  They will explain how land grabbing by commercial interests is forcing them off their tribal homelands. March: Tue 4th Bristol, Wed 5th Reading, Thu 6th Oxford, Tue. 25th Leeds, Wed. 26th Edinburgh, Wed. 2nd April London. Further info. 0117 952 0988. Tue 25th March. Eco-Village Network , general meeting. 1 – 6pm at the Create Centre, Bristol.  Speaker from the Centre for Alternative Technology will give an illustrated talk about how big an eco-village or eco-town will have to be to be viable. Phone Mark Warner on 0117 925 050 5 for details.  Also see Other Groups section. Fri 4th to Sun 6th April. Gathering Visions, Gathering Strength. A weekend gathering to explore non-violent action in Britain across movements and across generations.  Leeds University, £2-£15.  Contact Cornerstone on 0113 262 9365 Sat 5th April.  Becontree Organic Growers.  Planting veg and clearing a coppice for replanting with hazel. Generally they also offer permaculture workshops in exchange for ‘hands-on’ work on the land.  9am onwards, nearest tube Becontree on District Line. Contact BOG at 0181 592 8941. April 22nd. ‘Communities and Homes In Central London’ are holding a seminar on Affordable Homes in Central London – What Future? 9am – 2pm, Museum of London.  Organisations: £50 incl. lunch; individuals: concessions available (open to all).  Phone 0171 378 8300 for details.
Local Land Initiatives TLIO can offer your campaigns professional advice from planners and legal experts. Scotland East Coast: Plans are being made to cut about 350 mature oaks from the 13000 year old Pressenman woods.  The woods are one of the few remaining parts of the Caledonian Forest, that once covered much of Scotland, and each tree has a Tree Protection Order on it. Phone 0131 228 2193 or 01368 850630. Edinburgh:Liberate the Land! 15th-16th March SCIAF have invited hundreds of children to occupy the meadows in Edinburgh. This 24hr event is highlighting the importance of landrights in the developing world. Call Dermot Lamb 0800 435510 North Manchester: Campaigners have now set up a camp on the proposed site for Manchester Airport’s second runway, The £180m runway would use 600 acres of greenbelt as well as causing huge increases in air pollution. The work is due to start in April so people are urgently needed on the camps, as well as waterproofs, food, tools, etc. Phone 0161 834 8221 or 0958 451525. Good News from Middlesborough! The NOMAC pressure group, which was formed by councillors and locals, have successfully fought plans for a drive in ‘Mc Burger’ bar to be built by Mobil. Derbyshire has become one of the worst-hit counties for opencast mining, and the Miners Support Group are organising actions against the destruction. Tel. 0181 672 9698. Cheshire: “The Friends of Lawton Woods” continue the fight against development at Lawton Hall. The appeal date is 2nd June.  They also need as many folk as possible to help them with the campaign:  fund-raising, and letter writing etc.  Contact Jacky Barfoot at 9 Congelton Road South, Church Lawton, Stoke on Trent, ST7 3AJ, or phone Mr T Deighton on 01270 873040. Lake District: The Lake District National Parks Authority are hoping to fell a large group of Russland Beeches in the area. This is despite a 3500-strong petition against the move, and despite the fact that tree surgeons have verified that most of the trees are very healthy. Phone 01539 563671 to get involved. Leeds: Kirkstall residents are fighting a planning application for a huge supermarket on playing fields which will bring 25% more traffic and environmental pollution to this residential area. For more details on what you can do to help, contact Kirkstall Valley Campaign, 27 Burley Wood Mount, Lees, LS4 2QG, or e-mail to; or phone Leeds Ea rth First! on 0113 262 9365. Newcastle-upon Tyne: Council plans to sell off a large piece of moorland to the developers of a leisure complex have now been approved by the Committee of Freemen, the body supposedly responsible for the moor’s upkeep.”No Business On The Moor” are campaigning to save the area by building the complex, instead, on derelict industrial land. Call Mike Heckels on 0191 232 1883 or Elizabeth Bowcott on 0191 261 9012. York: Clearance work has started in Naburn Woods to make way for a huge out-of-town shopping centre, but the local community have other ideas. Contact Naburn Woods Campaign, c/o YorkLEAF, Peace Centre, 15a Clifford St, York. Phone 01904 410185. South Wisley Airfield in Surrey, site of the first ever TLIO occupation, is currently under threat of becoming a site for a large waste incinerator.  In 1996 Surrey County Council highlighted the site in their Surrey Waste Local Plan. Due to objections the plan was then withdrawn  But a  revised 1997 plan has been reintroduced, now also specifying criteria for sites rather than just specific locations.  Wisley Airfield Action Group (WAAG) are against the site being used because: it is green belt; adjacent to several SSSI’s and the Royal Horticu ltural Society’s Wisley Gardens; and would mean moving waste long distances by road.  Phone Euan Harkness from WAAG on 01483 225263 for details. The draft Surrey Waste Local Plan 1997 is available for viewing via the TLIO website and from Surrey Council. Comments should be submitted by March 18 to: County Planning Officer, County Hall, Kingston Upon Thames, KT1 2DT  e-mail: Devon: Exeter: The Broadclyst & District Generator Action Group and the Whimple Action Group are still campaigning to oppose rural destruction in the beautiful Vale of Broadclyst. They are opposing the building of a power station, industrial and residential developments. Contact them at or visit their informative website at or phone Steve Wilkinson, the Campaign Sectretary, on 01404 822073. Guildford: The campaign to save Stringer’s Common from the A320 extension continues. Camps have been set up and your help is needed: contact 50 Old Farm Rd, Guildford, Surrey, GU1 1QN. Tel:01483 32167. Hampshire: A book is being put together about the Twyford Down campaign. Call Alan on 01962 868763. Newbury: Pretty quiet on the direct action front, although there is still some activ ity: call 01635 45544 for more details, or the info line 01635 550552. London: CHiCL (Communities and Homes in Central London) is a federation of community groups in the city that provides a voice for community life and suggests innovative land use policies. For a detailed bulletin and publications list contact CHiCL, 6 Southwark St, London, SE1 1TQ. Tel 0171 378 8300. London: Hackney’s proposals for Agenda 21 were brought together in a public conference held in January, “Ideas into Action”. The council has also agreed on the strategy, and a summary of the proposals should be available from April. Contact Kathryn Johnson, Directorate of Environmental Services, London Borough of Hackney, 161 City Rd, London, EC1V 1NR, 0171 418 8285. London: Lambeth: The Effra Site next to Vauxhall Bridge has been purchased by St. George PLC, who plan to build luxury housing aimed at Asian millionaires. Local residents propose instead affordable housing, leisure facilities and access to the riverside. Contact Tenants Corner (Effra Site Campaign) on 0171 582 7286 Sussex: Brighton: Residents are fighting to stop Sainsburys building a new supermarket, road, and car park, on the edge of the town centre. Railtrack, who curre ntly own the land, are legally bound to sell to Sainsburys UNLESS the planning application is rejected. Contact Jenny on 01273 883641. Sussex: East Preston: 1930s pumping station threatened with demolition by South London Family Housing Association: SLFHA considered conversion and were told it has to be through a new planning application not an amendment. This could cost. Publicity and negotiations continue. Details from J. Deeks, 4 Wendy Ridge, Rustington, W.Sussex BN16 3PJ, Tel: 01903 787 237. East Kent: Folkestone: Save Lyminge Forest Action Group is fighting to protect the 400 acre West Wood from a proposed “Holiday Village” on the site, which is currently a mature conifer plantation.  A public enquiry and subsequent judicial review came down in favour of the developers, but the Action Group have lodged an appeal which will be heard in March. To find out more, call Celia Wood on 01303 862722. West Somerset: Yeovil: Sainsburys backed down from plans to build on Wyndham Hill a few years ago, after activists occupied a nearby supermarket for three weeks. Asda now have their sights set on the area, but actions are underway to send them packing also. Ca ll 01935 825074 for details. Somerset: nr. Yeovil: Tinkers Bubble – 40 acres of conifer plantation,orchards and gardens.  A planning enforcement notice was served on the’bubblers’ last year but, pending high court appeal, no enforcement action has been taken.  A new bathroom is nearly finished and a Marshall 1930’s steam powered rack bench sawmill has just been installed in the plantation. Contact: Simon on 01935 881975 Somerset: nr. Shepton Mallet: Kingshill – 16 adults and 10 children living on a 4 acre meadow in ‘state of the art’ benders.  At the high court last October the public enquiry which came out against the residents was overturned.  The government may take the case to the court of appeal but that will probably take a year.  The residents have been re-opening local footpaths and putting in stiles and planting Hazel, Oak, Beech, Ash, and lots of fruit trees.  Contact: Avril on 01749 860660. Wales Carmarthenshire, Nr. Llandeilo: Tipi Village – 75 adults and about 50 kids living low-impact on 160 acres.  The residents are awaiting dates for a judicial review and planning appeal but on a further case the Council was forced to withdraw their enforcement notice at the end of November.  Quite a few yurts have sprung  up over the winter and plans are afoot to buy 30 acres of neighbouring forestry commission land to be returned to it’s natural state. Contact 01558 685066/685038 Clydach Gorge: The Welsh Office propose to dual the A465 from Abergavenny to Hirwaun and where it cuts through the Clydach Gorge just west of Abergavenny.  Such road-widening will devastate exceptionally beautiful landscape which has a National Nature Reserve, several SSSI’s and lies within the Breacon Beacons National Park.  Details from Muriel Venning on 01873 830057 Neath: “Reclaim the Valleys” successfully blockaded an opencast mine and a refinery for one day as part of the activities surrounding the anniversary of the Sea Empress disaster: to get involved call the information line on 01749 812665. Flooding of the Gwent Levels: In 1995 mudflats at Cardiff Bay, a SSSI and an important  habitat for birds, were flooded to create a marina. EU legislation stipulates that if SSSI’s are damaged this has to be compensated for elsewhere.  Various quangos have conspired to create an alternative wetland environment on the Gwent Levels.  This plan involves flooding existing farmland, acquiring 20% of it by  Compulsory Purchase Orders, and dispossessing eight families of parts of their land.  This is being fought by a  curious assemblage including the Country Landowners Association, NFU and Friends Of The Earth Cymru. After Gwent County Council’s failure to reach a decision, final approval rests with the Welsh Office.  Phone FoE Wales/Cymru on 01222 229577 for more details. Central VICTORY!!!!  Oxford: Wimpey have withdrawn their ridiculous application to build a bingo hall and car park on Elder Stubbs allotments.  Locals are on the lookout incase  the council tries to push through another hair-brained scheme. Call Mike Kelly on 01865 778192. National The UK Forest Stewardship Council has completed the second draft of its standards for sustainable forestry.  Sadly, however, there are no measures providing for public access or rights of common beyond the current legal minimum.  People who live close to approved plantations will not be allowed access to the woodland even if their right to walk there etc. had been customary for centuries.  TLIO local groups and contacts have refused to give support to the standards until such measures are included.  To find out more about the consultation, please write to FSC, Unit D, Old Station Building, Llanidloes, Powys, Wales, phone 01686 412176 or 413916, or e-mail: h The Ramblers Association is now involved too. International Brazil: Movimento Sem Terra (Brazilian Landless Movement) groups continue to be subjected to viscous attacks from police, military, and ruthless landowners as the campaign to establish their customary rights in law continues.  The Catholic Church’s Pastoral Land Commission has just announced that 31 deaths in the state of Para last year were directly attributable to landowners’ armed security measures. But  3,000 landless families that last year moved onto land owned by a forestry company near the Paraguay border  have cause to celebrate.  They have just got permission from the government to stay on 16,800 hectares of it .  Nice one!  Contact Brazil Network, at PO Box 1325, London SW9 0RA; phone/fax: 0181 674 4301. Peruvian Amazon: Mobil are exploring for oil in territory of uncontacted Indians. They have refused requests from Survival International and the local Indian organisation for them to stay out of this territory. Any contact between the oil crews and the Indians is likely to be fatal, as the Indians have no immunity to Western diseases. For more information contact Survival on 0171 242  1441. They are having weekly vigils outside the offices of Mobil UK, Clements In n (off The Strand), London WC2, every Tuesday, 12 – 2pm. Philippines: Cordillera Links: The Philippines government’s policy of selling off the people’s mining rights to multinationals continues apace. Newsletter contact; 111 Faringdon Rd, Stanford-in-the-Vale, Oxfordshire, SN7 8LD, tel/fax 01367 718889.  Please send us details of your campaigns (50 words max), which will also be published on our website. Write in to the office or send e-mail to

the best and worst of 96

For those of you waiting to hear how your nominations for the Best/Worst landowner competition have fared we hope to announce the results mid-March, and will publish them in the next newsletter.  Interestingly, nominations for this years ‘worst’ category were dominated by councils and other public bodies for misuse of public lands, along with two large landowners in Scotland nominated for appalling land management and their treatment of tenants.  Worryingly, there were only two nominations in the Best category.

Campaigning Needs The greatest need will always be for volunteers.  Most tasks can be done from home and general expenses will be covered.  But office volunteers need to travel to Oxford.  Now we have an office in the centre of the city we’re much more accessible. INTERNATIONAL CO-ORDINATOR – Not the massive job it sounds.  If you’re already into the work of groups like Oxfam, War on Want and Survival International you’ll know there’s a lot of info. out there about land rights struggles around the world.  But it’s also about getting our message out to them!  You would also be responsible for developing our international internet pages. RURAL SETTLEMENT GROUP CO-ORDINATOR – Someone to set up meetings needed for people interested in buying cheap land to live on sustainably and getting to know others with the same aspirations. LOBBYISTS  – A long-term lobbying strategy has been drawn up and George Monbiot is now looking for supporters to help take our message to the politicians.  Contact him on 01865 724360. OFFICE VOLUNTEERS – if you like what we’re doing and live within reach of Oxford, come and lend a hand!  To find out more, call or write to the office, and come along to one of the Oxford meetings which we hold every two weeks.  TLIO LOCAL CONTACTS – as a local contact we ask you to take our newsletter to libraries etc. in your area.  Also be on the lookout for local planning / landrights related news to send in for the website and next newsletter. TLIO LOCAL GROUPS – We have several local groups now (see Local Groups Section).  If there’s not one already active in your area why not set one up.  We can supply the backup you need to make the meetings a success. Contact the office, choose a venue and get on the phone.   RESEARCHERS – Simon at the Oxford office is keeping our research ‘Wish List’.  We are able to fund research, so do get our research list out around universities and colleges. LAND ESSAYS – 1000/2000 words for no. 3 please. HELP WITH WEBSITE – HTML literate?  Steve Jones needs help with scanning pictures or page preparation.  Call 0181 723 4603 or e-mail: VIDEO/CAMCORDER USERS – for media training and filming action.   Get in touch if you have access to  these very useful tools.  PHOTOGRAPHY – if you have any favourite photos from Wandsworth share them with the world – get them on the internet.  Call Steve on 0181 723 4603. T-SHIRTS – Could you help us get our name out on the streets  this summer? We need someone to get quotes and order T-Shirts, Window stickers etc.  We have lots of great artwork to work with. TARPAULINS  –  to give or lend.  As the British Army now sends its’ surplus tarps to Scandanavia, these useful items are hard to come by.   We may be able to pick tarps up if you don’t have transport. TRANSPORT – From time to time we need to get around where no public transport is available.  If you have access to a mini-bus or similar that you might be prepared to drive for us, we’d love to hear  from you.  MEDIA  SPOKESPEOPLE – are you articulate? Get yourself trained up to  talk to the media at actions. TRANSCRIBERS – typing up documents or aricles on to PC or MAC discs.  What a great way to practice your typing!  TRANSLATORS – Portuguese, Urdu/Punjabi, Spanish, Russian, Swahili, Arabic, Chinese, Swedish, French and German.  For  forthcoming International News Sheet  and Internet pages. SCANNER – can anyone scan images in for us for the internet site or the newsletter?  Also if anyone has a scanner to give us this would be extremely helpful! LASER/INKJET PRINTER – our printer has had it so if you have a decent printer you no longer need please send it our way. modem –  we are in great need of a 14-400 or fastish modem. DTP SKILLS – as our publications grow we need creative people to help pull them into shape.   NEWSLETTER HELP – just before each newsletter goes out the office is chaotic and there’s loads of phoning round to do getting all the latest material together.  Some of this  task can be done from home.     TIPI – A Tipi would be a great focus for small weekend actions and the like. Do you have one or could you organise a Tipi Making Weekend in the summer.  WE ALSO NEED: stamps; envelope re-use labels; a megaphone; 2nd- hand Mac or PC computers. BUT MOST IMPORTANT IS GOOD ENERGY AND IDEAS FOR THE FUTURE Any  *!! DONATIONS!!*  you can send will make a difference, even tiny amounts.   The Land is Ours grows in strength by bringing people together all over the country – that way we’re far more powerful!  If you can help  with any of these, please write to the office.
Local Group Info London Group: The first meeting is on Mon 24th March, 7pm, at the Battlebridge Centre, Battlebridge Rd, N1. Nearest tube KingsX.  Phone Jo Norcup 0956 651580 for details. The Bristol group had their first meeting in January, which proved very positive.  Fifteen people met in a pub and have already decided to do an action ASAP!  They are mulling over proposals at present. For details of next meeting phone Gordon Franks on 0117 965 6261 x3189. The Newcastle group had their first meeting in January and decided theircurrent objectives would include: organising a fund raising concert;compiling a database of local low-impact developments; planning a series of public talks; getting a regular stall together; and some direct action. The group meets monthly on the Saturday nearest the full moon.  For details of the next meeting telephone phone George on  0191 261 1303 or write to The Land is Ours, 1 Drury Lane, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 1EA.   The Somerset group had their first meeting in January in Glastonbury. Thirty people turned up and discussed directions for the group including lobbying the lau nch of the Mendip District Council’s Agenda 21 announcement Phone Matt Reed 01460 64500 for details of the next meeting, which should be in March/April sometime. East Anglia:  Sudbury group: Next meeting is on Thursday 13th March at Friends Meeting House, Sudbury. Phone Judy Say on 01787 371886.   Norwich:  If anyone in the Norwich area wants to join discussions on Land Issues ring Greta McDonough 01603 484412. The Yorkshire Coast group plan to hold their first meeting in March for general discussion and to find projects to get involved in.  Phone Michael Gresham on 01723 88228 for details. Cornwall:  A group may be starting soon. Phone Matt Smith on 01736 711378 (Matt is also starting a Green Centre in Penzance) Devon:  A group is in the process of starting. Phone David Osbiston on 01647 433684. Also see Needs list.

Other Related Groups Eco-Village Network – there is a new British branch of the Global Eco-Village Network.  They’re based in the Create Centre in Bristol which is worth a visit for its own sake.  Eco-Village Network is an information networking group, and they are putting together a database of existin g and potential British eco-villages/eco-co-operatives. See meetings section. Catalyst Collective (a member of Radical Routes) – an information service to help co-ops set themselves up.  They produce a magazine ‘Greenline’ each month.  Phone Craig on  01726 850500 for details. Earthrights – environmental law service whose aims are: using law to protect the environment; providing a service to those who otherwise can’t afford to use the law to protect the environment; providing education and carrying out research on environmental rights. Phone John Dunkley on 0171 278 1005 or e-mail ELMS (Environmental, Legal and Mediation Service) – aims are to preserve the natural and built environment and to promote sustainable development. Offering five services free of charge to the public: representation, education, advice, legislation, and mediation. SAE for further details to ELMS, Temple Chambers, London, EC4Y 0HP.  Tel: 0171 583 8844  Fax: 0171 583 8007. Ecological Design Association – a global network linking designers and providing information, education and exchange of ideas to encourage the practice of ecological design.  Their magazine EcoDesign comes out 3 times a year.  Phone Heather for more details on 01453 765575.

Publications TLIO has the following for sale: Information Pack –  Full details of TLIO aims & objectives. 50p. The Activist’s Guide – Don’t be intimidated by developers.  £2. Land Essays 2  – TLIO articles with landrights reference list. £1. TLIO envelope re-use labels  – Designed by Emily Johns.  Recycled, UK sourced, vegan gum. Each pad contains 100+ labels.  £2.50.  Charter for the Countryside – George Monbiot’s vision for rural land use.  £1. Access to the countryside bill – The Ramblers Association and the Labour Party’s proposed legislation.  The shape of things to come?  £1. Pure Genius Planning Application for Ecovillage – The occupation is no more, but our vision for  the site lives on.  £2. Ecotrak – Survey of Local Authority Support for Low Impact Homes – Now includes a complete list of contacts in local planning departments. £2. Wandsworth Borough News  – Editorial, Friday October 18th.   Local condemnation of  Guinnesses’ actions.  50p. Parliamentary Speech by Tony Benn MP  (7 May 1996) – TLIO in the Commons.50p. TLIO Bookshop      Diggers & Dreamers 96/7 – A guide to co-operative living: how to do it, articles and a directory of British and overseas communities and networks.  £11. Growing Food in Cities Report – 90 page report provides a thorough overview of urban food growing and why it is important for sustainable development. Includes analysis and documents nearly 40 projects.  National Food Alliance and Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Environment Alliance joint publication.  £11.    How to Campaign on Supermarket Developments – SAFE Alliance briefing sheets to help you prevent planning permission being granted for out of town supermarkets. £3.50. Permaculture- a new approach for rural planning?  Rob Hopkins examines reasons for planning success or failure of four low-impact sites.  TLIO 10% off: £9. Squatters Handbook 10th Edition, May 1996 – The ultimate guide to squatting. £1.50. The True Levellers Standard Advanced – a modern day perspectiveon the 17th Century radical gro up – The Diggers.  £1.50. An Enquiry into the Reasons For and Against Inclosing the Open Fields – reprinted 16th Century pamphlet.  £2.  Low Impact Development – Planning and People in a Sustainable Countryside. The most  talked-about book in rural planning.  A considered  view of a repopulated countryside  by Simon Fairlie.   £11. Gerrard Winstanley, Selected Writings – edited by Andrew Hopton. A combination of direct action and vision that shook the English Aristocracy just as they thought the Civil War was over.  Most of his best Digger pamphlets are collected here.  £6.50. The Levellers and the English Revolution – by H.N.Brailsford.  John Lilburne, The Putney Debates and the Diggers are brought to life in this vivid insight into the people’s civil war.  £11.50. Walden and Civil Disobedience – One of the original low-impact dwellers, Henry Thoreau,  left the city in 1845 to live in solitude.  His reflections on the individual’s relationship with the state have inspired generations to listen to their conscience. £6.50. Progress and Poverty – Henry George’s classic 1879 book explains how the industrialists and the landowners increasing ‘wealth’ leads the rest of us into poverty.  £5. Corporate Watch – The magazine with an eye on the corporate hawks.  £2.00. Adbusters – This full-colour Canadian magazine is a brilliant riposte to corporate culture. £4.50. Squall –  News from street level that pulls no punches. £2.50. Low-impact News – issue 7, the land, news and practical information. £2.00 . Prices include P & P.  Please make cheques payable to ‘The Land is Ours’, or send us the equivalent in first class stamps.  Do include a donation if possible ……. thanks. Our Aims – in Brief Land for Homes: space for low-cost and self-designed housing in cities; places for travellers and low impact settlers in the countryside. Land for Livelihoods: farming without catastrophe; subsidies and planning permission for small scale, high employment, low-consumption land uses. Land for Life: a right to roam; protection and reclamation of common space; reform of planning and public enquiries; mandatory land registration; community ground rents.               Our aims are explained in more detail in our ‘Information Pack’ – see publications. Our web site is expanding fast.  Now at ‘oneworld online’ we’re rubbing shoulders with the likes of Amnesty, The World Court,and Oxfam!  Keep an eye on our Land Events Diary which we update weekly – this plugs the gap between newsletters, providing details of short-notice events such as meetings and actions. The newsletter is now on the website so please let us know if you don’t need one mailed. There is also a history section featering Levellers, Diggers, peasant uprisings and the like, which helps explain why the land really is ours!   Any land related event you want publicised write in to the office or e-mail

Wandsworth Fame Travels. William Mortada who was at Wandsworth last year and now working in Prague reports that news of the occupation spread as far afield as Germany, the Czech Republic and Poland, inspiring similar actions!

Info on Arrestees from the Wandsworth Eviction Kathleen Muller was  the only person convicted, for biting a police officers hand.  She pleaded self-defence and got a conditional discharge against which she’s appealing.

Wayne Wilson It is with great sadness that we learnt of Waynes’s death this February. Wayne was very active at Blackburn, Newbury and the Pure Genius occupation at Wandsworth and other protests around  the country.  Known and loved for his zest for life Wayne will be sadly missed.  His parents and friends are setting up a woodland trust fund and will be planting 21 trees at Southey Wood, Peterborough to mark his forthcoming birthday on 4th May – friends welcome.  An inquest will be held on 26 March.  For further information contact Tina on 01733 890323.

Office Update We now have an office in central Oxford sharing with CND.  However we’re keeping the Box E address for now as we’re not sure how long we’ll be here.

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                    March 1997
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a landrights campaign for Britain