Shared Assets is a UK-based Community Interest Company that believes land is a common good which should deliver shared benefits for everyone. We support the development of new models of managing land that are sustainable and productive, create livelihoods, enhance the environment, and involve local people in making decisions about the places they care about. We know that land is intertwined with power, wealth, identity and belonging, and therefore want to see a broader recognition that land issues – access to it, ownership of it, use of it, decisions about it – are fundamentally issues of economic and social justice. Through centring this perspective, and by supporting greater community control of land assets, we see land as at the core of wider system change.
We’re excited to be involved in Ruralization, to have the chance to work closely with our fellow members of the Access to Land Network, alongside new practitioner and academic colleagues from across Europe, to deepen our knowledge of the issues facing rural newcomers and new entrants to farming, and consider ways to increase their access to land. We’re looking forward to sharing our experiences and engaging with groups from other countries, to strengthen our work and that of our peers in the UK around issues of rural regeneration.
Our two staff members most involved in working on Ruralization are Kate Swade (Co-Director) and Kim Graham (Research Coordinator:
Kate has been with Shared Assets since 2012, and leads on a lot of our consultancy work with local authorities and social enterprises, alongside developing new projects. She has over 15 years’ experience of community led regeneration and of working with groups of people to take more control of their environments. Kate is a trustee and chair of the estates committee at Toynbee Hall, and was a 2013 Clore Social Fellow. She has a degree in Arabic and Politics, speaks good Spanish, and has a geeky appreciation for languages and how they work.
Kim joined Shared Assets in 2019 after completing an MSc in Agroecology and Food Security. They are interested in working with communities to design, implement and evaluate research projects which support common good land use. Recent research pieces Kim has worked on include a report on Common Good Land Use in England, and a report on the sell-off of England’s County Farms, with recommendations for how to revive the use of this valuable asset to meet today’s needs. Kim is also a keen gardener, and member of the Cambridge Community Growing Group, a network for community gardeners around the city.”