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We are sorry that the environment secretary has given consent for fencing, for 20 years, on two commons: Bricketwood Common, near St Albans in Hertfordshire, and Tregonetha Common, near St Columb Major in mid-Cornwall.
In both cases the applicant, St Albans Council for Bricketwood and the Cornwall Wildlife Trust for Tregonetha, argued that it was necessary to fence the common in order to graze lowland heath and maintain the habitat.
In both cases we objected because of the adverse effect on the landscape and public access.
At Bricketwood we were dismayed that St Albans Council failed to consult us ahead of submitting the application, particularly as it knew that the proposal was likely to be controversial. In fact, there were 11 objectors, including three national organisations—ourselves, the British Horse Society and the Hertfordshire and North Middlesex Ramblers. The common is subject to rights to walk and ride, under section 193 of the Law of Property Act 1925.