Diary Entry

I came across this diary entry from a few years ago. It was Thursday 5th April 2012, as it happens…
It says,
“-the tax year ends…
Lambing season… Thursday before Easter… trip to Burgh Island… trip to the local dump and recycling centre… volunteer day with folks with their hearts and trowels and fingers in the soil… love of the earth – a falling in love with our earth, harsh bits as well as delicate flowers picked by loving hands…
The empty, neglected, open spaces of the world… the less immediately valuable-enough-to-be-enclosed-quite-yet-spaces…
The road to Burgh empty in places and quiet except for a few sheep sounds… so much of the earth unloved.
The caring by tilling of a little of it, however small, with loving hands – the understanding that every grain of dirt, every well-handled dock root, every carefully printed tax and charges demand, every morsel entering the local dump and recycling centre, is there, ready to be cared for with all sorts of tools held by loving hands…
This caring, this understanding of a whole cosmos of sacredness, of stuff needing care and love, these acts of husbandry are powerful and immense and potent.
Husbandry is humanity. It is the art of caring for patches of earth and all that they hold. It is a tradition in this part of the world.
We English cultures have much to be proud of. As, of course, do ancient cultures everywhere on earth.
Civilisation is the act of bringing into civil law that which is universally and deeply acknowledged to be natural law. We have traditions of legal evolution that are some of the best invented so far in this earth’s story. There are also flaws in our laws.
Our English cultures have a need to atone and to make some amends for the terrible collateral damage our conquest of the earth has incurred. Still incurs.
We sometimes call ourselves English lions, after the huge fierce European cats with whom our ancient ancestors fought and defeated so many thousand years ago. We have proven our courage. Bringing a payment of due respect for the earth into legal law would be a true courageous act of England.
We humans are – have been for quite a long time now – top of the earth’s food chains.
Our self-interested fight for survival – our search for wealth and security – now coincides with the survival of our food chains, our ecologies, which we can follow to all parts of the earth.
We base all our earthly finances ultimately on the collateral of title deeds measuring out parcels of the earth. Bringing a payment of due respect for every square metre of earth we occupy, a literal annual due – a fee simple – a fee, simple enough for us all to understand – into our legally enforced financial systems would be an act England can be proud of.
Shall we together lead the world into a future of wealth and prosperity in our relations with the earth? Shall we together lead the world into a fresh understanding that we are an intimate part of the harsh and flowering soil running through our fingers? The sacred stuff that we and the earth are made of is everywhere around us. It is under our pavements, in these Devon lanes and in city low emission zones. It is in our hearts also. I was once told that courage is the action of following our hearts…”

Road to Burgh

I have a few more of these entries and I shall be posting them here in the next weeks. Together they form part of a plan that may contribute to a better understanding of what to use as solid ground, foundation stones if you like, in our quest for humanity to take up its part in restoring the thriving nature of life on earth.

The Remedy.

The Remedy (for social, economic and ecological problems of every scale).

[After Henry George, of Pennsylvania USA, Walter Edwards, of Fair Oak Devon, Julian Pratt of Devon, and original visions of people in every part of the world, who have made hospitable edges to places].



Once natural law in property (or property lore) is re-understood and realised a-new – a remedy becomes obvious.

The remedy hinges on realising that there are two distinct types of property. It hinges on seeing an edge that separates them.

One type of property is that which is made, fashioned or moulded by woman and man, kind or unkind, out of the stuff of the world. This type of property becomes clearly seen as belonging to the maker. Anything other becomes a theft of her efforts. Those who become owners of this type of property may dispose of it as they chose: it may be bought, sold or inherited according to existing laws.

The other type of property is the occupiable parts of the dimensions of this world. They are not made by any efforts of any woman or man. The occupiable, measurable dimensions of the world are somehow to be shared with and between all users of the planet. Occupation of this type of property can be defined, its edges can be made clear. Defence of this type of property, or the security of occupation of a place, must somehow be made. The best kind of defence will be one that is respected by those on both sides of the edges that surround this type of occupiable space.

The first type of property, the manipulated stuff of the world, the product of the joint action of human effort and tools to enhance human effort, properly belongs to the manipulators. A ditch, a hedge a preparation for sowing and harvesting of every sort, a building, a tool, human activity moulding the stuff of the earth into valuable goods and services to be traded and passed around in every conceivable way: all this is properly named as property. It is not to be taken. Thou shalt not steal. Including stealing by taxation. Because to steal takes away the full dignity and freedom to make out of this world to enhance our lives, whatever you and I may.

The other type of property, the place used for that manipulation, however, is valuable to the whole world. It is a pixel in the whole picture of a living planet. It is the substrate within which, or upon which, all ecological and economic activity is based. A place with defined edges has a defined value to those who would use it. This is not property to be owned by any other than the whole world. The safety, security and freedom to mould the stuff of a place is a privilege which can be attained with a kind of defence that is respected by those on both sides of the edges. Defence need not be attained or maintained only be military means.

This remedy proposes that a respected occupation of a place from which business can be done and lives can be lived can be secured with a direct payment of goods and services that matches the value of using that place. This payment can be made to all the people of the world. The whole people of the planet may receive this payment to facilitate our business of caring for the planet, its communities and its ecologies. It is to facilitate the public services for us all. The amount of the payment for each place is determined only by the value of that place to users or potential users. This usevalue can be seen, and its amount quantified by those on both sides of the edges of places. The amount of payment for each place matches that value as accurately as possible. It becomes freely and voluntarily and joyfully offered to the public by the actual private users and occupiers of any part of the measurable dimensions of this planet. It becomes freely and voluntarily and joyfully received by us all, the public, as occupiers of the whole planet. It may be termed a full community contribution for use of a place on this earth.

These transfers of goods and services from exclusive users of places to the well-being of all, these voluntary declarations that the rents for the grounds we privately use, belong to the public good, these voluntary ground rent payments will start with just a few, as the realisation of the true nature of property lore grows. It may grow organically as more and more of us see our role as carers of this pixelated world. It may grow organically as more and more of us see that we no longer wish to support a system of economy that allows theft and supports threats.

A few occupiers to start with are offering their user-fees. Funds available for us all as global recipients will gradually grow. Algorithmic means for these polite, dignified and proper exchanges are, I’m sure, being developed.  This will gradually become a joint effort by all to give new life to this world. These new algorithmic exchanges, I believe, will grow to replace the dying finance of the old model of forcibly defended ownership of a type of property that properly belongs, and is available to be creatively cared for, by the whole of ecology. Forcibly defended ownership of the territories of this planet has served humanity for a long, long time.

Not for much longer.

It is now clear that this planet is under the care of humanity as a whole. It is also clear that this care needs nurturing attention. Revenue from ongoing use of the places of the planet is to be paid directly to the people of the planet. This remedy will enable the people of the planet to properly take up our role as carers of the living systems which are connected to every place in the planet. Payments of community contributions for use of land and other measurable dimensions of the earth will, I believe become the globally recognised, respectful basis of a new and at the same time ancient form of economics. It will serve as a universally accepted way of behaving economically. It will become a form of economics which aligns personal, family, company, institutional and governmental interests with the care of the ecologies and communities of Planet Earth.

Property lore may then, perhaps, become civil law. (The first definition of Civilization in my dictionary is: “The assimilation of the Common Law into the Civil Law”.) Perhaps as civil laws take property lore into account, then you and I, as members of humanity, may become very much more proud of our very many civilizations.


As this remedy takes effect, effective and affectionate caring for the places of this world may then flourish.

Land owned and held by landowners, us landowners – for the purposes of security and a stake in the “never-enough” financial economy – will become available for the people of the world to till, to care for and to properly inhabit.

As Mr Wendell Berry, of Kentucky, USA eloquently says, “It all turns on Affection”. Every single community, family, company, institution and government are composed of people like you and me, all capable of affection not only to our nearest and dearest, but also to the places of this earth and the extraordinary capacity of the looked after ecologies to respond to that affection.

Oh, how I would love to see the land, the sea and the air released from the bondage of the never-enough economy. Oh, how I would love to see people and places freed to grow affection for each other.

As this remedy takes effect, we can all witness and participate in the healing of our cultures and our cultural abilities, together with all their edges.  As this remedy takes effect, we can all witness and participate in the healing of the lands, the seas and the airs, of this beautiful and not-so-beautiful planet, together with all their edges.

Jonty Williams, Devon, December 2018



Mayday m’Aidez!


On these pages and posts

I would like to explore with you what it is to occupy and inhabit a piece of territory.

I would like to explore ways the edges to territory may be made.

(These explorations may often be re-explorations, because, since ancient times people everywhere have time honoured ways to make and maintain the edges to the places we have inhabited.)

I would like to explore ways a solid, healthy occupation of a place can be secured: Secured from others in ways that do not threaten others. Ways that instead use a making and a re-making of our customs of using hospitality and courtesy to strangers to secure our inhabited places.

Please join me in these explorations.

A Loud Declaration

A loud Declaration

A clearer understanding of the difference between types of property, Just two types of property, has all the marks of being at the centre of a spring uprising.  A Spring Jubilee perhaps.

The one type:

This is the hold you and I have on the space we take up. The space you and I take up has measurable dimensions. Most obviously and firstly is land. We are land owners and land users. There are plenty of other landowners and land users who can now consider what of earth’s dimensions they occupy. There are plenty of dimensions to this earth that we, collectively, have measured.  Geometrically, geographically, geologically, geo-dynamically, geo-orbitally.

Once considered, an estimate of the ongoing use-value of a place can be determined with reference to the keenness of those who would use it.  This use-value is solely by courtesy of the public and so belongs to the public. We need to find ways that it can be distributed directly to the people of the planet.

And the other type,

The property that arises from what you and I make out of the space we use. This type of property belongs solely to us. It includes all the goods and services that arise out of the efforts of you and me. There comes a clarity of understanding that all the proceeds of what you and I do belongs to us to use/trade/exchange/employ as we feel fit. All that you and I make out of the space we use may be called rightfully ours.


My declaration is that each month I hereby allocate the use-value rent for the space I take up as revenue for public use.

The enforced taxing, fining, and fee impositions that at present supply the public revenue will soon become more obvious as the theft by the powerful that it is.

I make this simple declaration: I trust the public directly, and declare that the (estimate for this year, £300.00 per month) belongs to the public I deal with directly. This is my earth rent.

This trust will serve our families’ protection better that the global institutions of management that you and I are suffering under right now. The fees and fines and threats that our governments and our money systems are imposing right now are failing to secure my future or the future of my family.

So, I am also declaring that his £300.00 a month I see as a priority expenditure. A first priority expenditure. It is to directly safeguard the good manners that society treats my family. Payments for current demands from the failing systems come after as a lower priority.

This may see be seen, not as a threat to current institutions, but as a gift to them. They may now take time to begin to appreciate the measurable dimensions of the spaces of the earth they occupy. They might then use the rent of these spaces either for public services or release space on the earth for others to have a hold on a portion of the planet.

We all may then enjoy the more straightforward task of defending what is seen to properly belong to either public or private concerns.

It makes me happy to know there is a way.


Occupy the earth!

“We have an ancient and long-enduring cultural imperative of neighbourly love and work. This becomes ever more important as hardly imaginable suffering is imposed upon all creatures by industrial tools and industrial weapons. If we are to continue, in our only world, with any hope of thriving in it, we will have to expect neighbourly behaviour of sciences, of industries, and of governments, just as we expect it of our citizens in their neighbourhoods.”

Wendell Berry, 2015


The first task is to tease apart how we treat property that IS the world (as tenants – with use-rights and duties)


from property that we make out of the world (as full owners of the products of our work).


The time has come to

Occupy the earth!

As tenants of the places we use.

The time has come

To occupy the earth

As tenants of the links between the places we use.


We men and we women of this world can overcome the weaponization of the cultures of the places we use.


The time has come to write up some tenancy agreements:




Sample Tenancy Agreement

Relating to:

The Place I Occupy

(insert here, the measurable boundaries of the “ground state”: earth/sea/air/waves/light/physics/flows as recorded by land registries and other ground state registries)

Between the one:

(insert here the occupier: My name/my family/ my company/my nation/ my heirs and assigns)

And the other:

(insert here community recipients: i.e links to all other earth occupiers/ trusted community administers/ means to a universal earth citizen’s income)


The terms:

The one pays the other a rent (here called an Earth Rent), volunteered and agreed today and to be re-volunteered and re-agreed termly into the future.


The earth rent Is a market valuation based on, placed on, and traded on, the desire of all and any to use or occupy the said portion of ground state Earth. This rent funds the links to the rest of ground state Earth.


There are only two T’s and C’s

that apply:

The one complimenting the other:

  1. To take up our own place as carers-in-chief of the ecologies of the ground state we occupy. That is, to look after our bit of our planet. This may be called the Husbandry / Stewardship clause.
  2. With our ground rent payments, to take up our joint places as carers-in-chief of the links between our ground state planet. That is, to look after our community connections to the other parts of the planet. This may be called the community contribution clause.



An open letter of love and trust to the people of planet earth.

To my fellow earth occupiers, all of you,

I hold a piece of this earth as mine. I have a legal tenancy. UK law says so.

My realisation – today –  is that I no longer wish to remain under the military protectorate that guarantees that tenure.

I need to secure my home directly with you.

So, I am assessing the use-value of the space on this earth I take up at present. This is the value any of you might put on the right to use the space I take up. I wish this to be paid to you – to you all – directly.

This today feels a more dignified way to hold the place I occupy from you than the armed threats of violence that have till now secured my tenancy.

My assessment of the value today that I or any of you might put on the right to use my piece of the earth is £300.00 GBP per month.  (This is the ground rent I am volunteering, not the rent of my house.)

The algorithmic means to transfer this to you is yet to be built. However, I now declare that goods and services to the value of £300 each month are available to you from me. This is your direct dividend resulting from my pleasure in occupying my place.

With love and trust to y’all directly,

Jonty from Devon

PS My declaration is that this payment is of higher priority than my acquiescence to the enforced payments demanded of me by the power-hungry governments who at present are failing to protect my family’s security.

devon ‘edges

feb 2016 001

The above picture shows an old Devon lane with mature chestnut trees growing on and in a typical Devon hedge bank. This journal will explore the value of this ancient cultural practice and its relevance in helping to address the dangerous times we are all living in.

jontys phone 6.3.16 130

This picture shows the dilapidated remains of an prehistoric boundary at a hill called Liddy Ball in Devon.

We are nearly three weeks into this community inspired and community funded project to make new and remake some proper ‘edges – proper Devon edges. Regular progress report will be posted here.

I can’t believe the words for hedge and edges are not properly one and the same…

As you can see from some of these picture of various Devon hedges, these edges between lanes and fields, or between one place and another are not insubstantial structures.

feb 2016 011
Ancient Denbury Down in the background, a cleaned out ditch and flail trimmed hedge, keeping maintained a boundary that has, most likely, been directing water and shelter where it is most needed for several thousand years

jontys phone 6.3.16 057
A deep lane with its edge either side providing a sheltered way between Buckfastliegh and South Brent

6.5.15 JONTY PHONE 001
A newly made stone faced edge of a husbandry school, built by students and staff in 2012