| Commentary

206 Introduction

| Commentary


206 Introduction1

The term ‘common land’ does not denote land of any particular physical description. Generally applied to land not readily cultivable, the term includes uplands, woodlands, lowland heath and scrub, undrained marshes and peat bogs. There are around 550,000Ha of common land in England and Wales.

Common land and accompanying rights of common were part and parcel of the medieval system of agriculture. Land not suitable for arable open-field cultivation was ‘manorial waste’ and the villagers of the manor generally acquired, by custom, certain rights in respect of it. Although technically owned

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