Common land and village greens

Common land is land, usually in private ownership, that has rights of common over it. It is generally open, unfenced and remote. The Countryside and Public Rights of Way (CROW) Act 2000 gives the public a right of access on foot to certain areas of 'access land' which includes registered common land.

Rights of common can include:

  • grazing sheep or cattle (herbage)
  • taking peat or turf (turbary)
  • taking wood, gorse or furze (estovers)
  • taking of fish (piscary)
  • eating of acorns or beechmast by pigs (pannage)

The people who are able to exercise the rights listed above are generally known as'commoners'.

Village greens are usually areas of land within defined settlements or geographical areas which local inhabitants can go onto for the exercise of lawful sports and pastimes.Theseinclude organised or ad-hoc games, picnics, fetes and other similar activities. Whilst land forming town or village greens may be privately owned, many greens are owned and maintained by local Parish or Community Councils. Some greens may also have rights of common (i.e. grazing of livestock) over them.

Procedure: Town and village green applications

  • Charlea Allotments, Brimscombe, Stroud
  • The Green Woodview Rd Dursley
  • The Leys, Berkeley
  • West Dursley below Stinchcombe Hill

You can also view a list of Commons Commissioners decisions for Gloucestershire since the 1970's.

The registers are statutory documents showing all registered land in our area:

  • Land - a description of the land, who registered it and when the registration became finally registered. There are also related plans which show the boundaries of the land
  • Rights - a description of the rights of common (i.e. the right to graze 100 sheep), over which area of the common they are exercisable, the name of the person (the 'commoner') who holds those rights, and whether the rights arise by virtue of a separate land ownership by the commoner (i.e. they 'attach' to land)
  • Ownership - details of owners of common land. However, entries in this section of the registers are not held to be conclusive

Request a copy of the Commons or Town and Village Green register and map online

To obtain a copy by email please complete the online form

The commons/village green maps and registersare available to view, free of charge.

How to access the commons/village green maps and registers


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