Sunday 18 March 2018

The Foundation for Common Land is delighted and honoured to announce that HRH The Prince of Wales has become our Patron. HRH is well known for his interest in and passion for the multiple benefits our countryside provides and the role family farms play in managing our most iconic landscapes.

The Foundation for Common Land is a charity whose central aim is to conserve and enhance the public benefits of common land. These include the cultural landscapes, natural environment and agricultural systems delivered by commoners through sustainable grazing and by the owners of common land.

Julia Aglionby, Executive Director (England) said, "Since our formation in 2012 The Prince of Wales has supported and encouraged the work of the Foundation for Common Land inspiring two work areas. The first is our Hill Farm Training Courses for the Conservation Professionals and the second is a cross organisation partnership to improve the delivery of multiple outcomes on upland commons. In the foreword to our publication; ‘Better Outcomes on Upland Commons’; The Prince of Wales wrote; "There is something tirelessly special about the uplands and also something special about the people and organisations that work tirelessly to manage the uplands.”

Once covering over 50% of Britain commons are now restricted to 3% of England, 5% of Scotland and 8% Wales. Yet they are disproportionately important in the public benefits they provide. For instance Common Land is 7 times more likely to be designated for nature conservation than non common land and 39% of all Open Access land in England is Common Land contributing to the well being of millions of visitors to the countryside.

Common Land is currently in the spotlight with the forthcoming unveiling of the Lake District World Heritage Site by The Prince of Wales. UNESCO recognised that at the heart of the Lake District's Outstanding Universal Value is the unique cultural heritage created and inspired by the pastoral grazing of commons and associated hill farms by strongly independent farmers.

Chris Short, Chairman of the Foundation for Common Land said, "We are delighted to welcome HRH as our Patron formalising his long standing recognition of the importance of commons and commoners to our most valued and iconic places."