Brains are delicate things…
Our current ideas about ‘property’ imply that the owner has complete control over all aspects of his (or, much less likely, her) land at all times. But this is an historical novelty.
“Over the centuries, the concept of property has changed dramatically. Property was a matter of possessing rights in land or its resources, and there were few areas of land in which rights of some kind were not shared.. Today it is the land itself which is called property, and the words for the rights we possessed have all but disappeared. Estovers (the right to collect firewood), pannage (the right to put your pigs out in the woods), turbary (the right to cut turf), pescary (the commoners right to catch fish), have passed out of our vocabulary; now, on nearly all the land in Britain, we no longer even have the right of access. The landowners’ rights are almost absolute, ours are effectively non-existent.”
George Monbiot speech at 1996 Bristol Lecture of The Schumacher Society