Town greens, village greens and common land

Town greens, village greens and common land

Village greens

Village greens are usually areas of land within towns or villages which residents can use for exercise, lawful sports and pastimes. These might include organised or ad-hoc games, picnics, fetes and other similar activities.

Whilst town or village greens may be privately owned, many are owned and maintained by local parish or community councils. Some may also have rights of common, for example, grazing of livestock, over them.

Common land

Common land is land, usually in private ownership, that has rights of common over it.

The main features of common land are that it is generally open and unfenced.

Rights of common can include:

  • grazing sheep or cattle (herbage)
  • taking peat or turf (turbary)
  • taking wood, gorse or furze (estovers)
  • taking of fish (piscary)
  • eating of acorns or beechmast by pigs (pannage)

Last updated 22 February 2023