The Commons Act 2006 aims to protect common land, in a sustainable manner delivering benefits for farming, public access and biodiversity.

What does the Commons Act 2006 do?

  • The Act enables commons to be managed more sustainably by commoners and landowners working together through commons councils, with powers to regulate grazing and other agricultural activities.
  •  It provides better protection for common land and greens. This includes reinforcing existing protections against abuse, encroachment and unauthorized development. It recognizes that the protection of common land has to be proportionate to the harm caused and that some specified works can be carried out without the need for consent.
  • Part 1 of the Act requires commons registration authorities to bring their registers up-to-date by recording past changes affecting the registers during a ‘transitional period’, and to keep the registers up-to-date by recording new changes affecting the registers. Commons registration authorities will have new powers to correct many of the mistakes in the registers.
  • The Act sets out new, clearer criteria for the registration of town or village greens.
  • The Act prohibits the severance of common rights, preventing commoners from selling, leasing or letting their rights away from the property to which rights are attached.
  • The Act provides for the establishement of Commons councils for the better management of commons. 

To keep up-to-date with what is happening with the Commons Act 2006 you can access the Defra website here