We haven’t heard so much about footpaths and the Right to Roam, though the proposed sell-off of woodlands recently caused quite a public furore.
This tapped into the same vein of resentment over the power of wealthy landowners to monopolise large tracts of land. The debate was perhaps a bit more nuanced because of the lack of public funds for maintenance of practically anything at all. The National Trust now seems to be reclaiming an increasingly political role as a counterweight to private and public ownership.
The fox-hunting debate and animal rights issues rumble on and beneath the surface I imagine much has changed. Has anyone been prosecuted recently for illegal hunting practices? Our attention is elsewhere. We all seem paralysed – let’s hope temporarily – by the economic situation but a change of government and philosophy is bound to have caused the plates to shift.