Assarting is the act of clearing forested lands for use in agriculture or other purposes. In English land law, it was illegal to assart any part of a royal forest without permission. This was the greatest trespass that could be committed in a forest, being more than a waste: for whereas waste of the forest involves felling trees and shrubs, this vegetation can grow again; assarting involves completely rooting up all trees — the total extirpation of the forested area. The term ‘assart’ was also used for a parcel of land assarted. Assart rents were those paid to the British Crown for the forest lands assarted. The word origin is from the French word essarter meaning to remove or grub out woodland. In northern England this is referred to as ‘ridding’.