Commoners' Rights

There are various rights attached to a number of properties on the common, and these can be for taking gravel; "estovers" which means taking of timber, firewood, bushes or bracken; but most importantly grazing of stipulated numbers of different livestock.

Commons rights were required to be registered under the Commons Registration Act of 1965. Any that were not registered at the time were abolished. Since that time there have been changes, particularly over Greenham rights. In 1973 a number of amendments were made to certain rights and in 1991 the Ministry of Defence abolished Greenham rights within the fenced zone of the airbase and those commoners who agreed accepted compensation. Due to changes in the international political situation at that period the Ministry of Defence never got around to abolishing Crookham rights. When the Council took possession of the commons they offered those commoners with rights abolished the opportunity to repurchase them. Not all rights were repurchased and as a result of the changes over time there are now surplus rights. The Council has ownership and the power under the Act to let these surplus rights for a proper consideration.

The Council in agreement with the Commission annually assesses the extent of grazing viable in the coming year and may put up for annual rental a number of surplus rights.