Do you know someone who would appreciate a present that will help protect the future of accessible green spaces for all?
The Brendon Commons, in the Devon part of the Exmoor National Park, are to have the first-ever commons council under the Commons Act 2006. The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has decreed that the Brendon Commons Council will come into being on 1 April 2014.
The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs ran a consultation during October to gauge the level of support for such a council. The result was that 89 per cent of the 53 respondents supported the proposal for a council. The council is to be established by a parliamentary order and the Secretary of State can only make such an order if there is substantial support for it.
He was satisfied that substantial support has been shown, and the order will be laid before parliament for 21 days and will then come into force on 1 January 2014.
We welcome the new council. It will provide a democratic management structure for these commons, enabling them to be managed sustainably for the good of the landscape, wildlife, archaeology and public access. It will be easier for them to secure funding through agri-environment schemes for good management.
While we congratulate all who were involved in achieving the Brendon Commons Council, we are sorry it has been such a slow process. The Commons Act has been in force for seven years and it is surprising that this is the only council so far.
However, it will set a precedent for other commons and it is certainly good for Exmoor’s magnificent moorland.
Link to consultation responses and government response here.