Common land must be better protected, says the Open Spaces Society.

Common land made up half of England 400 years ago, but the Open Spaces Society now estimates that there is 1.3 million acres of common land in England and Wales remaining, in 9,000 units covering all types of landscape, from the Norfolk coast to mountains of Snowdonia.

Hampshire County Council, Hart District Council, Natural England, the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust and the Open Spaces Society have produced a DVD called Common Vision which argues their case for protecting common land.

Kate Ashbrook, the Open Spaces Society’s general secretary said: ‘The magic of the commons is that they are all open to public access on foot by law, and on some there are rights to ride. At the same time they are habitats for a fabulous variety of species. Everyone has a common near to where they live.

‘The problem is how to defend them. Only by involving local people in their management can we hope to save them.’

To order a copy of the DVD, which is available later this month, please contact Jonathan Mycock at jonathan.mycock@hants.gov.uk

The Open Spaces society has produced the DVD to raise awareness of common land.

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