Cornwall’s Coastal Gem: National Trust Land Granted Common Status

In a significant move for conservation and public access, an expansive area of National Trust land along the picturesque north coast of Cornwall has been officially designated as common land. This landmark decision by Cornwall Council, following applications by the Open Spaces Society and local common land enthusiast Tomas Hill, marks a new chapter for over 170 hectares of coastal landscape near St Agnes.

A New Status for an Old Treasure:

The land in question, stretching from Newdowns Head to just north of Porthtowan beach, is a stunning expanse of grass and scrub that has long been cherished by locals and visitors alike. Its designation as common land not only recognizes its natural beauty and ecological importance but also ensures an added layer of protection and public enjoyment for generations to come.

The Journey to Recognition:

The path to this achievement was not straightforward. An initial attempt to register the land as common in 1970 by the Ramblers’ Association faced objections and was ultimately withdrawn. However, the Commons Act 2006 reopened the door for such lands to be recognized and protected as commons, paving the way for the successful applications by the Open Spaces Society and Tomas Hill.

The Significance of Common Land:

Common land holds a special place in the British landscape, characterised by areas where the public has rights to access and, in some cases, to graze animals or collect wood. This designation not only preserves the land’s natural state but also ensures that it remains accessible for public recreation and enjoyment. The recent decision by Cornwall Council underscores the community’s commitment to safeguarding its natural heritage and maintaining open spaces for all.

A Victory for Conservation:

The National Trust, which owns the newly designated common land, has welcomed the decision, recognising it as an opportunity to correct the oversight from over four decades ago. Frances Kerner, the Open Spaces Society’s commons re-registration officer, hailed the registration as a significant win for conservation, adding an extra layer of protection to the Trust’s stewardship.

Looking Forward:

The designation of this land as common is a testament to the enduring value of open spaces in our communities and the importance of preserving these areas for public benefit. It reflects a broader movement towards environmental stewardship and public access to natural spaces, ensuring that Cornwall’s stunning landscapes remain a source of joy and wonder for all who visit.

As Cornwall celebrates this victory for its natural landscape, the story of this land’s transformation from a contested space to a protected common serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of community, conservation, and collective action in shaping the future of our natural world.

You might also Like