Common Land in and around Blackheath
Blackheath Common consists of 100 hectares is subject to a 50 Lease made on 27 February 2004 between The Hon Perter Herbert and Waverley Borough Council. WBC have covenanted to maintain in a reasonable state and preserve the land, as advised by English Nature. To take care and conserve the heathland habitat and any relevant specialist advice incorporated in the Management Plan.
The land is delineated on the attached plan and is designated Common Land, as provided by the Commons Act 1899 and the bylaws contained therein.
‘Common land is frequently misunderstood.’
The word “common” does not mean that the land is commonly owned. Like all land in England and Wales it has an owner, but others have rights there too, to graze animals, collect wood and bracken or dig peat—and the public has the right to walk, and in many cases to ride on them.
Commons are a special land type extending far back into our history. Today only remnants of those commons survive but they are rich in archaeology, wildlife and natural beauty, and are important for public recreation.
Originally, commons were crucial to people’s livelihood as a source of food, bedding, housing and heat. But as attitudes and systems of agriculture changed, so too did common land.
The topics she covered included the extensive enclosures of the commons which led to their demise; the formation in 1865 of the Commons Preservation Society (which later became the Open Spaces Society); the society’s campaigns to protect and record common land, and the various Acts of Parliament which govern it.
The Commons Registration Act 1965 provided for the registration of commons with the county councils, but the three-year period for registering them was far too short and many were either omitted or wrongly cancelled. It has since become possible to register lost commons in some English counties.
It is immensely rewarding to be able to raise people’s awareness not only of the history of common land but also of the variety and value of our commons. Every surviving area like Blackheath Common is unique and irreplaceable - https://www.gov.uk/common-land-village-greens