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 »
Got a burning question for the Welsh Government? Why not come along to a Carwyn Connect event
Got a burning question for the Welsh Government? Then why not come along to a Carwyn Connect event.
- Wales replaces the axed UK Independent Living Fund
- Minister in Lyon to share lessons for Future Generations
- Got a burning question for the Welsh Government? Why not come along to a Carwyn Connect event
- National Pathway for Homelessness Services to Children, Young People and Adults in the Secure Estate
- Draft revised guidance on disciplinary and dismissal procedures for school staff
- Prevention of Pollution (Oil Storage) (Wales) Regulations
- Draft non-statutory guidance for local authorities on elective home education
- Welsh Government Draft Equality Objectives for 2016-2020
- Future arrangements for the Welsh Government’s Equality and Inclusion Programme for 2017-2020
Featured consultation »Draft non-statutory guidance for local authorities on elective home education
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Section highlightEnvironment (Wales) BillThe bill creates the legislation needed to plan and manage Wales’ natural resources in a more sustainable and joined-up way.
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.
1st Supplementary Budget 2015-16 »
The 1st supplementary budget proposes a number of changes to the final budget for 2015-16, which was published in December 2014.Learn more »
- Statistics & Research
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.