WITH limited wildlife expertise, I can’t comment on the alleged outrageous behaviour of Winchester College concerning the removal of a swan’s nest (Chronicle, May 12).

Your report, however, is a reminder of the vast swathes of land in the ownership of public schools and other old institutions, the church, the monarchy and the rest of the landed gentry, who all continue to benefit from their historic acquisitions, the details of which are often lost in the mists of time.

Winchester College already owns a sizeable chunk of the city, while maintaining a lucrative property portfolio (sale of Barton Farm for development and purchase of The Pump House on Garnier Road for let, etc.)

Our so-called modern democracy is in desperate need of land reform as well as much stricter criteria for beneficial charitable status. Until then Winchester College, will continue to pursue “its own interests” because it can.

Karen Barratt,

Byron Avenue,



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