Report by the Commission on Devolution in Wales »We hope that this Report will give us the foundation for a fundamental reform of the devolution settlement.Learn more »
£68million improvements to A477 brings benefits to the economy, tourism and local communities
- Royal Welch Fusiliers Museum safeguards valuable First World War memories
- Welsh Government to fund Welsh Health workers to volunteer in Africa
Featured Article »Landmark social care Bill passes National Assembly scrutiny
- £68million improvements to A477 brings benefits to the economy, tourism and local communities
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
- Proposals concerning the publication of Sustainable Development Indicators statistical outputs
- Consultation on the regulations to introduce a new Firefighters’ Pension Scheme in Wales from April 2015
- Onshore oil exploration activities: integrated pollution prevention and control
- Statutory Guidance to the Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales in relation to the salaries of Local Authority Chief Executives
- Consultation on the findings of the report on the Impact and Effect of the Non-Domestic Rating (Definition of Domestic Property) (Wales) Order 2010.
- Proposals for the inshore crustacean fishery - Phase 1
Featured consultation »Curriculum for Wales: Phase 1 - revised literacy and numeracy arrangements
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Section highlightThe Housing (Wales) Bill
The Bill will introduce significant improvements across the housing sector to ensure that people have access to a decent, affordable home and better housing-related services.
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 - December 2013
This Wales Infrastructure Investment Plan annex highlights planned investments and potential procurement opportunities.
2nd Supplementary Budget 2013-14 »
The 2nd Supplementary Budget proposes a number of changes to the 1st Supplementary Budget for 2013-14, which was published on 25 June 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.