Commons registration

Part 1 of the Commons Act 2006 requires commons registration authorities to update the commons registers to take account of events affecting the registers since the 1970s which have not been recorded.  Any future events affecting the registers will only be effective in law upon an application to make the necessary amendment to the registers.

Find out below about the pioneer implementation of Part 1 of the Commons Act 2006.  Information is also available about commons registration authorities’ functions under the Commons Registration Act 1965 (which continues to apply outside the pilot areas), including Defra’s updates to registration authorities.

Pioneer implementation of Part 1 of the Commons Act 2006

In England, implementation of the registration provisions in Part 1 of the Act is being pioneered from 1 October 2008 in seven commons registration authorities: Devon, Kent (but not including unitary authorities in these first two counties), Cornwall, Hertfordshire, Herefordshire, Lancashire (but not Blackpool), and Blackburn with Darwen.  Please see our factsheets for further information.

A decision on how and when to go ahead with national commencement will be announced later in 2011.

Pioneer documents including Guidance and Statutory Instruments

Further information

The websites for the Open Spaces Society and Commons Reregistration provide further information about applications under the pilot implementation of Part 1 of the Commons Act 2006.  Defra is not responsible for information contained in those websites.

Registration authorities’ functions

Commons Registration Authorities are charged with administering the registration of common land and town and village greens under the Commons Registration Act 1965 outside the pioneer areas.

The Commons Registration (Amendment and Miscellaneous Revocations) Regulations 2010 substantially revoke many of the regulations made under the 1965 Act, and further information about these changes is available in the Explanatory Memorandum.  The Regulations also amend the notes to the following forms contained in Schedule 1 to the General Regulations: form 16 (Application for a note to be made in a register: General Regulation 24), form 17 (Application for the removal of land from a register: s.13(a) of the 1965 Act and General Regulation 27) and form 19 (Application for the amendment of a register in relation to a right of common: s.13(c) of the 1965 Act and General Regulation 29): revised notes are available (PDF 136KB).

Updates to Commons Registration Officers

The Common Land team sends emails to all commons registration officers (CROs) in England from time to time, updating them on recent changes affecting their responsibilities under the Commons Act 2006 and the Commons Registration Act 1965.

Association of Commons Registration Authorities for England and Wales (ACRAEW)

The Association of Commons Registration Authorities supports Commons Registration Officers and staff whose work includes common land and/or town and village greens.

Commons Commissioners’ decisions

Most decisions of the Commons Commissioners, issued since 1972, relating to the registration and ownership of common land and town or village greens under the Commons Registration Act 1965, are available to download on the website of the Association of Commons Registration Authorities mentioned above.

Project to Establish Ownership of Rights of Common – Bampton Common, Cumbria

Defra commissioned Capita Symonds to carry out a pilot study to define a methodology to identify the ownership of rights recorded in the rights section of the common land registers which were compiled under the Commons Registration Act 1965. The final report sets out the principal findings of the study which concentrated on Bampton Common in Cumbria.

Page last modified: 7 October 2011