Origins of sections 193 and 194 of The Law of Property Act 1925

On 29 June 2022 we shall celebrate the centenary of the Law of Property Act 1922. The principal purpose of the Act was to modernise the law of real property. The Act abolished copyholds, the form of land tenure whereby tenants’ rights, including rights of common, were recorded by the manorial courts. The society was alarmed by this: when attempts were made to enclose commons, we always referred to the manorial records to ascertain the existence of common rights.

Accordingly, we campaigned for and won provisions which gave the public the right on walk and ride on certain commons, and which protected commons from development and encroachment by requiring the minister’s consent for any works. These became sections 193 and 194 of the Law of Property Act 1925, and are integral to the society’s work to protect common land and ensure the public can enjoy it.

In 1997, Open Spaces Society trustee and vice-president Bernard Selwyn wrote a comprehensive paper detailing the origins of sections 193 and 194 of the Law of Property Act 1925, and the society’s role in achieving them.

Sadly, Bernard died in 2018, but his years of devotion and dedication to the Open Spaces Society live on. You can read Bernard’s obituary here, and find his paper on the Origins of Sections 193 and 194 of the Law of Property Act 1925 linked below.

Further resources about Commons

  • Commons Act 2006 - Registration and deregistration

    This fact sheet tells you about the registration and deregistration of common land and town or village greens, in England and Wales, under Part 1 of the Commons Act 2006. .

  • Protecting commons, greens and open spaces training course

    Learn the fundamentals on this comprehensive course to include definitions, registration/designation, protection and management.

  • How to take action against unlawful encroachments and works

    This fact sheet tells you how to protect your common from unlawful encroachments and works in England.

  • Vehicular access across Common Land and Town or Village Greens

    This provides Defra guidance about vehicular access across common land and town or village greens following the repeal of section 68 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000.

  • A charter for Wales's open spaces

    Read our August 2020 charter for the promotion and protection of open spaces so that everyone in Wales can benefit.

  • A Common Purpose Guide

    Download the Foundation for Common Land guidance on how to engage with local communities for those contemplating management on common land.

  • An approach to the re-registration of commons

    Our commons re-registration officer Dr Frances Kerner shares our approach to research and application preparation

  • Registered common land and highways

    Registered common land may also be part of a public highway, and evidence that land is registered common land or part of a highway is of little or no value in demonstrating that the land is not the other.

  • A charter for England's open spaces

    Read our August 2020 charter for the promotion and protection of open spaces so that everyone in England can benefit.

  • A commons’ conference companion

    The Countryside and Community Research Institute of Gloucester University (CCRI) has published a Commons e-book

  • DIY guide to registering lost commons

    The Commons Act 2006 provides a new, time-limited, opportunity for you to rescue some of those commons which failed to be registered under the Commons

  • Buildings, fences and other works on common land in England and Wales

    A practical guide for those wishing to carry out a lawful operation on a common and those wanting to defend a common against unlawful or undesirable operations.

  • Commons Act 2006 Part 1 Implementation

    A pioneer implementation of Part 1 of the Commons Act 2006 commenced in seven registration authorities in England on 1 October 2008.

  • Frequently Asked Questions: Commons

    Frequently asked questions about commons

  • Preventing vehicular access to common land or town and village greens (dragon's teeth)

    How to prevent vehicular access to common land, town or village greens using dragon's teeth.

  • Unclaimed land and adverse possession

    Unclaimed land and adverse possession: protecting commons and other open spaces with no known owner

  • Finding common ground

    Integrating local and national interests on commons: guidance for assessing the community value of common land

Our latest posts about commons

How to use MAGIC

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A step up for England’s protected landscapes

The government has, at last, announced its response to the Landscapes Review in England.  The review, led by journalist Julian Glover, was published in September 2019, more than two years ago, and made ambitious recommendations for the future of our national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty. In his foreword to the response Defra…
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Dunsfold Common, Surrey. The threatened land is to the left of the road. Photo: Google streetview

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