Friday, 7 November 2008

What is Common Land?

I've been asked what meant by the term "Common Land"? Well it's one of those things that everyone seems to know about, but trying to get a definitive description is proving a bit of a challenge. I've looked on the Internet etc, but again there are so many definitions that I'm now totally confused. So I thought I would say what Common Land grazing rights means to us.
Our house was built in 1850 and in the deeds it states we have the following rights over Ugthorpe Moor
"The right to graze 25 ewes and followers, the right to cut and take away peat and the right to take top stones over the whole of the land comprised in this registered unit."
In our case Ugthorpe Moor is not owned by the "Commoners", of which there are 22 properties, that have the rights to graze over the moor. Not everyone takes up this right and we only graze the land that is adjacent to our smallholding along with another local farmer, who also has the shooting rights over this part of the moor.
Common Land ownership can be an emotive issue in some areas, but here is seems to work well.
I don't know if I've made things any clearer, but for us it means we can rest our land from the sheep and have a larger flock than our 7.5 acres really can support.

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