Common land

Common land is usually land that is owned by one person whereby certain other people have agreed rights. These rights often include grazing or, for example, the cutting of peat or turf. The people who are able to exercise these rights are known as ‘commoners’.

Please note: these rights do not extend to everybody.

Where to find common land

About 4% of England and Wales is common land; much of it on open, unrefined uplands. In Blackburn with Darwen we have commons across parts of Darwen Moor and also in the parishes of Tockholes, as well as Yate and Pickup Bank.

You can view our register of common land (free of charge) by making an appointment.

Why common land is important

Much of it is of historical, environmental or recreational importance and has statutory protection embodied in several Acts of Parliament; the earliest dating as far back as the 13th century.

Please enjoy and respect our common land. Remember that most of it remains in private ownership, although the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 permits public access to open countryside including common land, subject to occasional restrictions.

The Commons Act 2006

The 2006 Act was introduced to fix and flaws in the previous legislation and to offer greater protection to our common land.

Common land applications, notices and decisions concerning common land in Blackburn with Darwen

Application forms are available in the documents section below.

Please refer to Defra's guidance notes before submitting an application

Schedule 2 non-registration or mistaken registration of land documents relating to Hoddlesden Moor and Darwen Moor are also available in the documents section below.

Please contact us and we will do our best to help. You can also find further information on the Defra website or the Open Spaces Society website.

Village greens

Town and village greens are covered by the 2006 Act but are not the same as common land.

Town and village greens often developed by custom as areas of land frequently close to the village centre where local people indulged in lawful sports and pastimes. There are not presently any town or village greens registered in our Blackburn with Darwen area, but as with common land, we are inviting comments and applications from the public if they feel such an area of land should be registered.