IMPROVED USE OF THE LAND
In medieval times common land was often farmed using the ridge and furrow method. This allowed better drainage and irrigation of the cultivated area and the ridges could be allocated between community members who helped each other with manual labour such as ploughing and harvest. The Enclosure acts allowed landowners to incorporate this common land into larger fields to make more efficient food production by economies of scale. The process was deeply resented by local communities forcing many workers to move to towns or cities looking for work in the new factories.
"And birds and trees and flowers without a name
All sighed when lawless laws enclosure came
And dreams of plunder in such rebel schemes
Have found too truly that they were but dreams."