The Green

75 Ann Buckland Common 2009

The Green at Buckland Common

The Green at Buckland Common is owned and managed by the Parish Council. It is a registered Common under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000.

Work to maintain The Green is carried out by volunteers. Each year the Parish Council decides how often and when to mow and collect the grass, according to the weather. Usually though there is  one main summer cut of the open ground and more frequent mowings of the lower wooded area,  striking a balance between encouraging the biodiversity of the flora and fauna whilst ensuring The Green remains an amenity for local people, including those who suffer from hay fever!

 Buckland Common 1934

 Buckland Common 1930s

History of The Green
The common at Buckland Common is the residue of a once extensive area of common land that was enclosed in the early 1800s.  After the enclosure it was retained as common land and was recorded as recreation land on maps. Its condition had remained largely unchanged for the next 100 years or so and until the early 1960s contained a large number of clay pits due to excavations in the 19th century and earlier. Some of these had become partly filled in over time but most were just overgrown with low scrub. It was a ready made playground for the children of the village, with paths crisscrossing the site. During the 1940s and ’60s the Parish Council received periodic complaints about vehicles parking or driving across the land or buses terminating at Buckland Common damaging the edge of the Green as they turned around.

In the 1950s the question of The Green’s ownership was raised. But it remained unresolved until 1962 when an inclosure award was uncovered. This clarified that in the 1800s the land had been granted to the Churchwardens of the ecclesiastical parish for the recreation of the local residents. As the church parish’s successor the Parish Council had automatically become the owner.

During the 1950s residents began to have more leisure time and wanted the condition of the common improved.  The Council commissioned some ad hoc remedial work, cutting back scrub or clearing a footpath and a few builders and architects were permitted to deposit waste rubble or soil in a somewhat injudicious attempt to infill some of the pits.

75 Ann Buckland Common 1964_089Buckland Common in the 1960s

In 1966 a newly-formed Buckland Common Residents Association made proposals to the Council on how The Green at Buckland Common could be improved by scrub clearance, pit filling and ongoing maintenance.  Work was undertaken from late 1967 supported by grants from the County Council and Ministry of Works.  Interestingly,  the maintenance regime for 1971 involved 7 annual grass cuts and liberal application of weedkiller.   In 1975 a Commons Registration hearing resulted in The Green being designated common land  owned by the Parish Council.

Historical research using Parish Council minutes and other documents by the Cholesbury-cum-St Leonards Local History Group.