Delivering Prudent Healthcare in Wales »Prudent healthcare principles ensure patients receive the most appropriate treatments to achieve mutually-agreed goals.Learn more »
Postcards from the children of Wales to NATO world leaders
Primary school pupils from Wales are to be given the opportunity to write a personal message to the NATO world leaders about their hopes for the future.
- Minister visits North Wales Fire and Rescue Authority
- Superfast broadband rolling-out across Pembrokeshire
Featured Article »Landmark Social Services law receives Royal Assent
- Postcards from the children of Wales to NATO world leaders
In this section
- Business and economy
- Children and young people
- Culture and sport
- Education and skills
- Environment and countryside
- Equality and diversity
- Health and social care
- Amending the Environmental Damage (Prevention and Remediation) Regulations 2009 to transpose Article 38 of the Offshore Safety Directive
- Extending access to intermediary services for descendants and relatives of adopted people
- Renting Homes – Illustrative Model Contract
- Statutory Guidance to the Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales in relation to the salaries of Local Authority Chief Executives
- The Ireland Wales Cooperation Programme 2014-2020
- Active Travel Action Plan
Featured consultation »Draft Technical Advice Note 1: Joint Housing Land Availability Studies
73 days left
Section highlightThe Gender-based Violence, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (Wales) Bill
The Bill aims to improve the Public Sector response in Wales to gender-based violence, domestic abuse and sexual violence.
Legislative programme 2013 - 2014 »
The First Minister detailed the 8 bills in the Welsh Government’s 5-year Legislative Programme that will be brought forward during the 3rd year of the Welsh Assembly.Learn more »
Section highlightProject pipeline update - June 2014
Our pipeline provides visibility of infrastructure investment activity across Wales.
1st Supplementary Budget 2014-15 »
The 1st Supplementary Budget proposes a number of changes to the Final Budget for 2014-15, which was published in December 2013.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.