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Kent County Council is responsible for holding and maintaining
the Register of Common Land and Village Greens. This is a statutory
document that provides a record of all the registered pieces of
common land and village greens across the county.
Common land is land over which another person is entitled to
exercise rights of common or land. Such land was historically
considered to be waste of the manor not subject to rights of
common. Such land is also normally in private ownership.
Rights of common are legal rights exercisable only by certain
individuals (the 'commoners') who live in certain properties or in
a certain area. These rights may include:
There is a common misconception that common land is land in
public ownership that any person has a right to enter. This is not
necessarily so and it was not until the Countryside
Rights of Way Act 2000 that the public were granted a
legal right of access (on foot only) over registered common
There are 174 registered village greens in Kent, covering
approximately 500 acres.
Register land as a new village
Read information about landowner statements
Village greens are usually areas of land within defined
settlements or geographical areas which are used for sports and
Unlike common land, there is no general right of public access
over village greens, which are instead reserved for use by the
inhabitants of the neighbourhood or locality.
A village green may be privately owned, although in practice
many greens are owned by the local parish council. Some greens may
also have rights of common over them.
In Kent, there are 111 pieces of common land. Although in other
areas, common land is generally open, unfenced and remote
(particularly in the upland areas of England and Wales), the
majority of registered common land in Kent is waste of the manor,
whose main function today has become for recreational purposes.
In many cases, the rights of common have died out, and a common
has no commoners; or if the commoners exist they no longer exercise
their rights. However, this does not stop the land from being a
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Countryside Access Service
03000 41 71 71
Monday to Friday 8am - 6pm
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Telephone: 03000 41 41 41 Text relay: 18001 03000 41 41 41
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