The Charter of the Forest

From the Magna Carta Barons to The Charter of the Forest

We draw our inspiration from the lesser know 'Charter of the Forest' without which the principles of the original Magna Carta would not have been effectively enacted for the benefit of people's lives and livelihoods across the Land.

"Two years after the issuing of Magna Carta, another piece of landmark legislation that curbed the monarchy's power received royal approval.
How the Charter of the Forest came about, what it changed, and why its legacy can still be felt to this day
The Charter of the Forest was a piece of legislation issued in 1217 on behalf of King Henry III, England’s 10-year-old monarch.
The Charter curbed the unbridled power of the monarchy over England’s forests and reasserted the rights of the common people.

Charter of the Forest

Since the Norman Conquest of 1066, England’s kings had been able to seize swathes of forest and turn them into hunting grounds, or Royal Forests, meant exclusively for their use. (It’s worth noting that at this time, a ‘forest’ was not quite what we would think of today – it could also refer to heaths, moorland, fields and even villages and towns in rural areas.) "
—Rhiannon Davies

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"On 6th November 1217, a document was validated at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. The contents are often overlooked by the document it enforces, the Magna Carta, and it is rarely cited as much as its illustrious predecessor, although the two are almost always cited and displayed together. This is because together, they tell the story of conflicts fought and liberty gained. The document is the Charter of the Forest – ‘Carta Foresta’ – and whilst it may lack the recognition it deserves, it was the first major expression of the rulings of Magna Carta in a practical sense."
—Timothy R. Jones, The Medievalists