Common land

Common land and village greens

We are responsible for maintaining the register of common land and village greens.

The register is a statutory document that lists all the registered common land and village greens in the area. The register lists:

  • land, including a description, who registered it and when, plans showing the boundaries of this area of land
  • rights, including a description of the rights of the common, where on the common these rights are and if possible the name of the person who holds these rights
  • ownership, including details if known of the owners of the common land but these are not conclusive.

Changes in ownership will be made when we are notified by the Land Registry.

We will provide information from the registers when you select question 22 on the local land charges CON29O form for basic information of common land and village green registrations in relation to your property.

Common land

Common land is owned by someone, but other people can use it in specific ways. The ‘right to roam’ on common land means you can use it for activities like:

  • walking
  • sightseeing
  • bird watching
  • picnicking
  • climbing
  • running

You can’t:

  • camp on common land without the owner’s permission
  • light a fire or have a barbecue
  • hold an event without permission

The management of common land must take into account the interests of both the owner and the ‘commoners’ - people who have rights over the land but don’t own it.

The public only has the right to access to common land if it is an urban common or is crossed by public rights of way.

Town or village greens

Town or village greens are usually areas of land within defined settlements or geographical areas, which local people can go onto for the exercise of lawful sports and pastimes.

Many greens are owned and maintained by local parish and community councils. councils. Some are privately owned.