Common land

Common land

Registered common land is land owned by one person over which another person is entitled to exercise rights of common (such as grazing cattle). Since 2005, the public has had the right to roam on registered common land. This right is on foot, and includes activities like walking, sightseeing, bird watching, picnicking, climbing and running.

As a Commons Registration Authority under the Commons Registration Act, 1965 we are responsible for maintaining the registers of Common Land and Town or Village Greens. Under the Act, all existing commons and town or village greens must be registered with information about the land, the owner and any rights of common.

The registers are available for public inspection on Mondays to Fridays (except public holidays) between the hours of 9.30am and 4.00pm. To make an appointment to view, contact commons@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk.

You can apply in certain circumstances to correct the registers by making a rectification application for:

  • adding land that wasn’t registered but could have been
  • removing land that was registered but shouldn’t have been

The relevant form can be requested by contacting the Commons Registration Offices. The deadline for applications is 15 March 2027.

You can also apply to correct existing information in the registers. There is no deadline for making these applications. You can apply to:

  • correct mistakes made by the registration authority or others
  • remove duplicate entries
  • update names and addresses
  • update the area of a common if it has been changed in relation to water (for example, where a river has changed course)

Fee per application: Schedule 2 paragraphs 6 to 9, Commons Act - £1000.

You can view guidance notes on the new regulations (link opens in new window).

Constructions on common land

Under Section 194 of the Law of Property Act 1925, it is unlawful to erect a building or fence or construct any other work whereby access to the common is prevented or impeded, unless the Secretary of State's consent is obtained. Consents are dealt with by the Planning Inspectorate and further information is available from the Planning Portal (link opens in new window) website.

Contact us

Email: commons@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk

Useful links and downloads

empty (link opens in new window)empty (link opens in new window)empty (link opens in new window)DEFRA (link opens in new window)

DEFRA Guidance Notes (PDF 139.1KB)

Open Spaces Society website (link opens in new window)

Natural England - Home page (link opens in new window)

Application form 44 - registering a town or village green (PDF 377.2KB)

Back to the top