Common land and village greens

Service information

Darwen TowerWhat is common land?

Typically, this is land owned by one person over which 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’.  It is important to remember that these rights do not extend to everybody.

Where can I find common land?

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

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

Why is common land 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 & Rights of Way Act 2000 permits public access to open countryside including common land, subject to occasional restrictions.

What is the purpose of the Commons Act 2006?

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

Blackburn with Darwen is one of seven pilot authorities initially involved in implementing Part 1 of the new Act. This is intended to bring the registers of common land up to date and to correct previous errors and omissions.

We would very much like to hear from anyone who believes they have relevant information regarding our common land.  Applications to record qualifying events, under what is known as Schedule 3 to the Act, can be registered free of charge provided this is done before a now extended date of 30 September 2010.  Please use the appropriate application form.  Certain other events may attract an application fee.

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

Schedule 2 non-registration or mistaken registration of land.

Where can I find more information?

Please feel welcome to contact us and we will do our best to help.

Additionally, you can 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.

Village green applications and decisions


Application forms

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

Contact details

Mail Commons and Greens, Development Control, Town Hall, Blackburn. BB1 7DY
Phone Number(s) 01254 585242
Fax Number(s)  
Extra Information
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