Town and Village Greens

Town and Village Greens developed under customary law as areas of land where local people indulge in sports and pastimes. These might include organised or ad-hoc games, picnics, fetes and similar activities. Unlike common land, there is no general right of public access over town or village greens, which are instead reserved for use by the inhabitants of the neighbourhood or locality. There is no distinction in law between a town green and a village green. and you can view the Definitions of Town and Village Greens.

There are 53 registered units of town or village greens in Cornwall, covering approximately 70 acres. The largest, 20 acres, is at Praa Sands, thus the average Cornish green is one acre in size.  76% of Greens in Cornwall are registered in the ownership of Parish and Town Councils, 16% owned by individuals and 8% owned by the Church Commissioners. Two Greens in Cornwall are subject to grazing rights, including the grazing of cattle, horses, sheep, goats and pigs. Seven Greens are registered as recreational allotments arising from the Enclosure Awards - the Enclosure Awards of Cornwall 1812 - 1882.

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Applications made under Section 15 of the Commons Act 2006, and the 2008 Regulations (i.e. made after 1 October 2008):

Applications made under Section 15 of the Commons Act 2006, and the 2007 Interim Regulations (i.e. made between 6th April 2007 and 30th September 2008):

  • App. 2716 Decision - 0.188ha of land at Bangors Green, Poundstock - Accepted, VG 692 - October 2009

Applications made under section 13 of the Comons Registration Act 1965, and the 1969 New Land Regulations, as amended by section 98 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 (i.e. made between 1st February 2001 and 5th April 2007):

Applications made under section 13 of the Comons Registration Act 1965, and the 1969 New Land Regulations prior to amendment by section 98 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 (i.e. before 1st February 2001):

  App. 2414 Decision - Tregonetha Green, St. Wenn - Accepted, VG 688 - 1991

Further information may be obtained from Defra or The Open Spaces Society.

Alternatively, land can be designated a Public Open Space (POS) or, more recently, Local Green Spaces can be protected under Part 5.3 - List of assets of community value; Part 6.3 - Neighbourhood Planning and part 5.2 - Community right to challenge of the Localism Act 2011. Please contact Cornwall Councils Planning Department for further advice.