The Charter of the Forest: Influential partner of historic Magna Carta
While the Magna Carta’s purpose and historical position is well known, the Charter of the Forest has, perhaps, an equally as fascinating background. Its role was hugely significant - opening up forests to the common man and enshrining it in law after the king tried to exert complete control over the land.
So what exactly is the Charter of the Forest?
Kent County Council community history officer Mark Bateson, who found the Magna Carta, explained. He told KoS: “It was created initially by King Henry III in 1217,
“At that point the Magna Carta was re-issued as well as this new charter, which is particularly concerned with what’s been happening in the royal forests throughout the realm.”
The king was required to “disafforest” the royal forests, meaning that it became available to common people.