Heathfield teen ‘landgrabs’ iconic London landmark

A Heathfield teenager travelled to Hampstead Heath in London last Sunday to take part in a stunt to raise awareness of Oxfam’s land grabs campaign.

Spoof sales of famous landmarks took place across the UK and Ana Alves Dos Reis joined in the weekend of action organised by Oxfam to support the charity’s campaign to stop unfair land deals that force families off their land and push them into poverty.

The 18 year-old girl broke the news to disgruntled walkers, runners and people enjoying the view that their beloved Hampstead Heath had been sold, and even sold the breath-taking view of some of London’s most famous monuments.

Although Hampstead Heath was soon returned to its rightful owners, the issue of land grabs is a reality in many places around the world, with an area the size of London bought in developing countries every six days. That’s an area the size of East Sussex every seven days.

Ana said: “Our staged ‘land grab’ confirmed our thoughts on how Londoners would be devastated if their heath was ‘grabbed’.

However land grabs are happening all around the world. People are losing their land, their livelihoods and their homes. She added: “It was great to be part of a wider movement all driving for change.”

The World Bank funds many big land deals and influences how land is bought and sold.Oxfam is calling on the World Bank to freeze its investment in land while it sets a fair standard for others to follow.