This website presents research and research resources for the study of common land.  The focus of the research material collated here is common land in England and Wales, although the research resources sections of the website are intended to be of use to scholars, commoners, community groups, stakeholders and others with an interest in the wider aspects of common pool resource management.

About Common Land:

Follow this link for a brief outline of common land and rights in England and Wales: What is common land?

About the Project and Website:

The website contains resources created by the Building Commons Knowledge Project, which runs 2012-13, and is funded by the Art and Humanities Research Council.  This project involves the creation of a Commons Knowledge Resource Bank, including a commons community history ‘Toolkit’; histories relating to individual commons submitted by commoners and/or community groups; a comprehensive database of research resources on commons governance; and working papers on the sustainable governance of the modern commons generated by the project.  The project is a collaboration between Newcastle University Law School, Lancaster University History Department, The National Trust, and The Foundation for Common Land.

The site also includes resources created by our previous Contested Common Land research project, a major grant project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council in its Landscape and Environment Programme from 2007 to 2010, which explored the management of common land since the 17th century, modern environmental governance of the commons, and the emergence of sustainable land management as a discrete objective of the management of our common lands.  The project was a collaboration between Newcastle University Law School, Lancaster University History Department, and Newcastle University Informatics Institute. For more information on the Contested Common Land project’s research and resources, please follow this link: Enter Contested Common Land section of site.


Cwmdeuddwr Common, Powys
Cwmdeuddwr Common, Powys (photo, E.A. Straughton)

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