Two much loved institutions came together: the BBC, and the genuine, traditional honest English village green. (Three, if you count Mr Humphries.)
William Worsley, who is president of the Country Land and Business Association, and Kate Ashbook were interviewed live on air . Here is the BBC's own heading for the item, taken from Today's page for Wednesday 25 November 2009 on the BBC website:
'07:46 The system of registering village greens is being used by 'not in my backyard' villagers wanting to register land to avoid it being built on. Environment correspondent Sarah Mukherjee reports from the village of Penn, Buckinghamshire.'What was not made clear before the handback to Mr Humphreys is that 'the villagers' are claiming somebody else's property. The land in question is owned by - yes, it belongs to - a third party.
Under the great village green swindle, property owners are given no opportunity for reasonable negotiation, or indeed any negotiation. No compensation is paid.
Ms Ashbrook represented the Open Spaces Society in this interview. She sounded very defensive, like a witness at a poisoning trial who'd just been found out. Looking at an example of a nearby alleged 'village green', it soon became clear why. That is it, below on the right.
In the real world, they call them 'road verges':
The particular spurious so-called 'village green' above is at Coppice Farm Rd in Penn, Bucks. For more information on the great village greens swindle in general, see the Campaign For Real Village Greens website.