Energy Wales Statement »The energy system in Wales is on the threshold of great change driven by new energy, technology and low carbon energy transition objectives.Learn more »
£7.6m funding boost for children and young people’s mental health services in Wales
The Welsh Government will invest an extra £7.6m every year in mental health services for children and young people in Wales.
- Welsh coast helping to boost tourism
- Love your library, cherish your church, partial to your pub? Consultation to protect community facilities launched
- £7.6m funding boost for children and young people’s mental health services in Wales
Section highlightHistoric Environment (Wales) BillThe Bill will support the positive management of change in the Welsh historic environment.
Legislative programme 2014 - 2015 »
Bills that the Welsh Government will bring forward in 2014/2015.Learn more »
Section highlightTaxes in Wales
The devolution of some taxes to Wales from April 2018 provides us with the opportunity to reshape those taxes to better meet our circumstances and priorities.
Final Budget 2015-16 »
The amount of funding allocated to Welsh Government Departments for 2015-16 is £15·3bn.Learn more »
- Statistics & Research
Upcoming calendar »
See the schedule for all statistics and research releases.View upcoming calendar »
It is generally thought that common land is so called because "everyone" owns it, but this is not correct.
Common land is usually owned by one person, namely the landowner. It is called "common land" because historically the landowner has allowed certain other people to use it.
What are 'rights of commons'
Most common land dates back to mediaeval times when land was owned by the lord of the manor. The lord would give his tenants the right to use pasture or waste land in particular ways. This permission to use the “common land” was called “holding rights of common”, and rights holders were called “commoners”. The rights were attached to the particular farmland or premises that were part of the manor. On common land, commoners could undertake certain specified activities e.g. grazing livestock, gathering wood, turf or acorns, or fishing.
The practice has continued to the present day, even though the original manor may be long gone. Nowadays, most rights are still attached to farms or premises. The current owners or tenants can use the rights of common belonging to that property.
Common land in Wales
Approximately 8.4% of Wales is covered by registered common land amounting to around 175,000 hectares. Many small commons abut each other, making large areas of common land across Wales. These small commons may have different owners and different rights holders. Many commons are important for agriculture in Wales, providing grazing for sheep and cattle. In addition, many commons are enjoyed for their leisure and environmental interests. Some are in National Parks or are owned by the National Trust.
Common land can provide important habitat for protected birds, wildlife and plants.