The Commons Act 2006

The Commons Act 2006 supersedes the Commons Registration Act 1965 and seeks to achieve wider benefits from improved management of common land around sustainable farming, public access and biodiversity.

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 unauthorised development - it recognises 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.

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.

Implementation of Part 1 of the Commons Act 2006 in Cumbria commenced on 15 December 2014 with a four year "transitional period" for updating the registers.

Under Part 1 of the Commons Act 2006 the commons registers are required to be updated to take account of events affecting the registers since the 1970s which have not been recorded. The registers will be open for amendments to reflect new events which have occurred, historic events and to allow the correction of errors. Any future events affecting the registers will only be effective in law upon an application to make the necessary amendment to the registers.

A "transitional period" permitting applications to be made to update the registers under schedule 3 of the Commons Act 2006 will run for four years from 15 December 2014 to 14 December 2018. Applications and proposals made within the first three years of the transitional period will be free; applications made after this time will be subject to a fee.

Applications must be made on the forms published on the website. Each application form contains notes on who can apply and the information and evidence that must be provided.

Cumbria County Council are the registration authority; we must remain impartial and cannot assist with the completion of application forms, help make applications or provide legal advice. Part of making an application is the initial decision as to what type of application is relevant; therefore we cannot advise which application form you need to submit. We would strongly advise you seek independent professional advice from a land agent or solicitor who specialises in Common Land / Town or Village Green matters.

The Commons Act 2006 and Explanatory Notes

The Commons Registration (England) Regulations 2014

Common Land Management, protection and registering to use

Defra Guidance to Applicants

Factsheet 1 - Registration and pilot implementation (PDF 34KB) 
Factsheet 2 - Wrongly registered land (PDF 33KB)
Factsheet 3 - Corrections to the Registers under Section 19 (PDF 33KB) 
Factsheet 4 - Registration of new events (PDF 33KB) 
Factsheet 5 - Town and Village Greens (PDF 38KB)

Commons registration: application forms