Eight hundredth anniversary of the Charter of the Forest
November 6, 2017 11:16 PM   Subscribe

The Charter of the Forest gave the commons rights, and protected the common good. Facsimile and translation, rich with words. A proposed modern version. In Our Times discusses it with the Battle of Lincoln (around 35'). A glorious tree that was coppiced for centuries. Previously (Chomsky, commons), previously (secret history of Magna Carta).
posted by clew (8 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
The first link has an awful opening paragraph, but this is great and all new to me.
(I have The Battle of Lincoln in my queue, but haven't got to it yet)
Seems like protection of the commons from external power is something we could all use.
Learned a lot of new words, e.g.:
[8] No swanimote shall henceforth be held in our kingdom except ..., when the agisters meet to agist our demesne woods, and ..., when our agisters ought to receive our pannage-dues; and at these two swanimotes foresters, verderers and agisters shall appear but no one else shall be compelled to do so; ...
posted by MtDewd at 5:47 AM on November 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

photographed by Epping Forest’s artist in residence

So how does one get this job? Doesn't have to be Epping forest, any forest would do.
posted by Mitheral at 8:22 AM on November 7, 2017 [2 favorites]

As is pointed out a couple times, some of the forest rights were an approximation of a UBI -- even a widow, a woman alone, could get enough out of a forest to not die, using her own labor.
posted by clew at 11:55 AM on November 7, 2017 [4 favorites]

Thank you for this post! Seriously!
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 12:12 PM on November 7, 2017

Speaking for the Trees - "A trained forester tries to move Congress to better federal forest management."

A biologist believes that trees speak a language we can learn - "Tree language is a totally obvious concept to ecologist Suzanne Simard, who has spent 30 years studying forests. In June 2016, she gave a Ted Talk (which now has nearly 2.5 million views), called 'How Trees Talk to Each Other' ... Simard teaches ecology at the University of British Columbia-Vancouver and researches 'below-ground fungal networks that connect trees and facilitate underground inter-tree communication and interaction', she says."
They speak constantly, even if quietly, communicating above- and underground using sound, scents, signals, and vibes. They’re naturally networking, connected with everything that exists, including you.

Biologists, ecologists, foresters, and naturalists increasingly argue that trees speak, and that humans can learn to hear this language.

Many people struggle with this concept because they can’t perceive that trees are interconnected, argues biologist George David Haskell in his 2017 book The Songs of Trees. Connection in a network, Haskell says, necessitates communication and breeds languages; understanding that nature is a network is the first step in hearing trees talk.
like the pandoran neural network! (in avatar ;)
posted by kliuless at 5:19 AM on November 8, 2017

The article itself reads like word salad, and it assumes a lot about the UK constitution. It only applies to Royal forests, and only has force inside them (so the reading of the charter in every church would have been limited to the few within the forest bounds). It can't apply in Scotland, as we were busy being another country at the time.
posted by scruss at 1:56 PM on November 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

The "UBI" comparison especially baffles me because, like, it isn't universal? Or income? It's just "oh, fine, we'll let you keep living on the land your husband lived on or whatever".
posted by tobascodagama at 2:13 PM on November 8, 2017

The widow doesn't own the forest! The charter teased out a lot of use-rights for people who weren't the lords of the wooded land. The widow doesn't necessarily own *anything*.

Hence, probably, the trope of the witchy woman living by herself in a low cob cottage at the edge of the forest eating unfamiliar food.
posted by clew at 3:14 PM on November 8, 2017

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