Archived News & Events


Please note, this is an archive of news items up to July 2012 – click here for current News and Events.

  • NEW COMMON LAND PROJECT LAUNCHED, JULY 2012: A new 1-year project has been launched which continues the work of the Contested Common Land Project. The ‘Building Commons Knowledge Project’, funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council, sees a new collaboration between researchers at the Universities of Newcastle and Lancaster, Foundation for Common Land, and The National Trust. We will be delivering sustainability and history workshops to communities, stakeholders and policy-makers, hosting a major common land conference, and developing an online ‘Common Resource Bank‘ on this website. Please get in touch via the Contacts Page if you would like to know more about the project.
  • PROJECT BOOK APPEARS, 2011: Our book, Contested Common Land: Environmental Governance Past and Present, is now available from Earthscan. For more information and ordering, see our Publicationspage.
  • CONTESTED COMMON LAND PROJECT CONCLUDES, end January 2010:The 3-year Contested Common Land Project officially drew to a close on 31 January 2010. We should like to extend our very great thanks to all those who have helped us over the course of the project, whether sharing information, talking to us about their common land interests, or joining us at project workshops and symposia. The book of the project, ‘Contested Common Land: Environmental Governance Past and Present’, published by Earthscan, is expected to appear later in 2010 or early 2011. Notice of publication will appear on this website. The Contacts page remains live: please do get in touch if you wish to do so.
  • Project doctoral student awarded lectureship, University of Exeter, January 2010:Many congratulations to Margherita Pieraccini on taking up her new post as Lecturer in Law at the University of Exeter’s Cornwall Campus. Margherita was a core member of the Contested Common Land Project team, undertaking doctoral research into common land governance at Newcastle Law School. She continues to be involved as a co-author of the project book.
  • Stakeholder workshops update, January 2010: Please note that the INGLETON EVENT has been POSTPONED DUE TO ADVERSE WEATHER. The event that was due to be held 7 January 2010 will now be held on Wednesday 13 January, 7.30pm, Wheatsheaf Inn, 22 High Street, Ingleton. We currently expect the BRANCASTER & THORNHAM EVENT to go ahead as planned on the 22 January 2010, 7.30pm, at the Briarfield Hotel, Titchwell. However, please keep checking this News page in case we need to give notice of changes due to wintry weather conditions.
  • Project member’s new publication, December 2009: A journal article by Contested Common Land project member Chris Rodgers appears in a special edition of Land Use Policy. Chris’s article on ‘Property rights, land use and the rural environment: A case for reform’, appears in Land Use Policy , Volume 26, Supplement 1, S134-SS141.
  • Project members at European Commons Conference, 5-7 November 2009, Pamplona-Irunea, Spain: Two members of the Contested Common Land Project Team, Angus Winchester and Margherita Pieraccini, travelled to Pamplona-Irunea in early November to deliver papers on their research findings at a European commons conference. The conference title was: ‘The Contribution of the Commons: the effect of collective use and management of natural resources on environment and society in European history’.
  • Stakeholder workshops, Autumn-Winter 2009: The Contested Common Land Project will be holding free informal workshops in our case study areas for stakeholders who are interested in the past, present and future of their common. These evening sessions will run for approximately 90 mins and will include presentations of our findings on the history and current use of the common, with a round-table discussion centred on a digital interactive map of the common. Attendance is by invitation: if you would like to attend please contact for confirmation as spaces may be limited. Dates and venues: Eskdale: 12 November 2009, 7.30pm, The Gate House, Eskdale Green (Eskdale Outward Bound Centre); Elan Valley: 27 November 2009, 7.30pm, Rhayader Community Centre & Museum (CARAD); Ingleton: INGLETON EVENT POSTPONED DUE TO ADVERSE WEATHER: the event that was due to be held 7 January 2010 will now be held 13 January, 7.30pm, Wheatsheaf Inn, 22 High Street, Ingleton; Brancaster & Thornham: 22 January 2010, 7.30pm, Briarfield Hotel, Titchwell.
  • Nobel Prize for Elinor Ostrom, pioneer of ‘Common Pool Resource’ research, October 2009: Professor Elinor Ostrom of Indiana University has been awarded a Nobel Prize for Economics after a lifetime of research into the governance and management of commons. Follow this link to the official Nobel site: Nobel Prizes 2009. See also media reports in The Guardian: Ostrom Report and Elinor Ostrom.
  • Contested Common Land Project Symposium, 7-8 September 2009, Newcastle University: Our second project symposium, on the theme of ‘Environmental Governance of the Commons, Past and Present’, was held at Newcastle University, 7-8 September 2009. We would like to extend our thanks to all who participated in the event. For more information and symposium papers, please see our Symposia page.
  • World Congress on Access to Land and its Use, Nantes, 8-9 June 2009: In June, Contested Common Land project member Chris Rodgers travelled to Nantes, France, to deliver a paper on ‘Common Property and Common Space: community, property rights and the environment’, at the ‘World Congress on Access to Land and its Use: Differing International Approaches’, at Cnam, Pays De La Loire, Nantes.
  • Natural England publishes ‘Trends in Pastoral Commoning’ online, March 2009: A detailed report on the state of common grazing in England, commissioned by Natural England, is now freely available online. The research was conducted by The Pastoral Commoning Partnership in conjunction with H. & H. Bowe of Carlisle; the report’s authors are Julia Aglionby, Roger Connard and Andrew Humphries. The report (ref no. NECR001) can be downloaded from the NE website, from the ‘Evidence and Policy: Commissioned Reports’ pages. Direct link: Trends in Pastoral Commoning.
  • RICS ROOTS Conference, Cambridge, 23-24 March 2009: Chris Rodgers (Contested Common Land Project and Professor of Law, Newcastle Law School) and Julia Aglionby (Common land consultant and doctoral student at Newcastle Law School) both presented papers on their common land research at ‘ROOTS’, the RICS rural research conference on 23-24 March 2009, at Clare College, Cambridge. Chris’ paper can be downloaded from our Resources page: Resources.
  • Common Land Forum, Lancaster University, 21 February 2009: The Contested Common Land Project and Lancaster University’s Centre for North-West Regional Studies (CNWRS) hosted a one-day forum on Saturday 21 February on ‘Common Land Past, Present & Future’. The morning session focused on the history and law of common land; the afternoon involved presentations by four speakers directly involved in the commons. For more information, please go to the CNWRS website: CNWRS Events.
  • Case study links: new book on Ingleborough, January 2009: A new book on the landscape history of Ingleborough appears this month, by local author David Johnson. ‘Ingleborough: Landscape and History’ is described as ‘the biography of a mountain’, covering geology, geomorphology, archaeology and history. Foreword by Tony Robinson. For more information, please visit the publisher’s page: Carnegie Publishing.
  • New book on the history of common land, October 2008: This month sees the publication of a new work on the modern history of common land, by Contested Common Land Project member Eleanor Straughton. Her book, ‘Common Grazing in the Northern English Uplands, 1800-1965’, is published by The Edwin Mellen Press. For more information and ordering details, please see: Publications.
  • Pilot scheme on Commons Act 2006 begins, 1 October 2008: Defra’s implementation of Part 1 of the Commons Act 2006 began on 1 October 2008 with a pilot scheme involving seven commons registration authority areas. For more information, see the Defra website: Defra common land pages.
  • Contested Common Land Project Symposium, 11-12 September 2008, Lancaster University: On 11-12 September 2008 we held the first of our project symposia on the theme of ‘Sustainability and the Commons, Past and Present’. Commons scholars and policy makers met at Lancaster University to share research findings and experiences, and to help develop ideas arising from the project. For more information and papers see: Symposia.
  • IASC Conference, July 2008: The 12th Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of the Commons was held in Cheltenham, England, on 14-18 July 2008. For further details see: IASC 2008.
  • Rural History Today, January 2008: The Contested Common Land Project featured in the January edition of ‘Rural History Today’ – the newsletter of the British Agricultural History Society – together with other projects in the AHRC’s Landscape and Environment Programme. See: Rural History Today, Issue 14.
  • New commons journal, from Autumn 2007: The IASC has launched a new peer reviewed ‘International Journal of the Commons’. The journal is freely available online. See: International Journal of the Commons.


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