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Fanfare for the commons man

November 6, 2013

What we need are just more people like Robert Hunter who are prepared to question the current dominant ideology which has turned selfishness into a creed.


Sir Robert Hunter, who died one hundred years ago today (6 November) is best remembered as founder of the National Trust.  But by then, in 1895, he was over 50; a far greater proportion of his life was spent campaigning for common land with the Commons Preservation Society, as the Open Spaces Society was then known.  

It is because of Hunter that the OSS can justly claim to be the parent of the National Trust.

Hunter loved the outdoors.  It was fortunate that, when he was articled to a law firm at the start of his career and feeling bored, he spotted a competition which appealed to him. Henry Peek, one of the leading commoners on Wimbledon Common, was offering prizes in return for original essays on commons preservation.  Hunter submitted an essay called ‘The preservation of commons in the neighbourhood of the metropolis’, in which he argued…

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