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It’s all very well wanting to plant trees everywhere and stuff like that but you need to own the land first. And we don’t. Not only that, we don’t even really know who does. But one man knows more than most.

Superstar activist Guy Shrubsole spent a very long time digging into who actually holds the deeds to England’s green and pleasant land and what he found was proper scandalising. In 2019 his book, Who Owns England, took the papers by storm – both left- and right-wing ones, for different reasons – and is just about to come out in paperback. Remember all the stuff about half the country being owned by a very small number of posh people? That was Guy.

Guy tells us all about his adventures hopping over fences and trawling over maps, and makes us gawp and shriek at the sheer secrecy about who holds the real power over England itself. You’ll be sharpening your pitchforks by tea-time. A fascinating chat with a campaigner and author whose work has been called “brave and important” by Robert Macfarlane.

Guy’s investigative website can be found at, and you can follow him on Twitter @guyshrubsole. Who Owns England? is published in paperback on 19th March 2020.

Sustainababble is your friendly environment podcast, out weekly. Theme music by the legendary Dicky Moore – @dickymoo. Sustainababble logo by the splendid Arthur Stovell. Ecoguff read out by Arabella.

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