There are six types of common rights. These have been granted to specific people known as commoners, during the registration periods under the 1965 Commons Act. Most rights are attached to land but a few are in “gross” and not attached to property. Further information can be found here.
Rights of common can include:
- Common of Pasture - a right to graze livestock (cattle, sheep & ponies)
- Common in pannage - a right to graze pigs on acorns & beech mast at certain times of the year
- Common of estovers - a right to take underwood, loppings, bracken & furze
- Common of turbary - a right to cut turf (peat) for fuel
- Common of piscary - a right to take fish from lakes or streams
- Common in the soil - a right to take sand, gravel, stone or minerals
The granting of these rights has its origins in our history when the Medieval Lord of the manor had to accept that one or more of these rights existed. Not every common will have all six rights granted and some may not have any at all.
The county council, as commons registration authority, maintains the register of common land where common rights have been registered. Common rights may be registered elsewhere at Land Registry (HMLR) or contained in unregistered title deeds, however they have to appear in the commons register to be definitive.
The people who are able to exercise the rights listed above are generally known as 'commoners'.