Managing the Common
So what does it take to run a common?
The answer is ‘a lot of hard work’: the Common certainly doesn’t look after itself. There are cattle to care for year round, sheep to check in summer, surveys of habitats and wildlife to carry out, gorse to cut back, litter to pick up, walls, fences and gates to mend, woodland to maintain… the list of tasks is endless. On top of all that is liaison with the many visitors to the Common – and, more often than you might imagine, rescuing those who are lost or injured.
But that is only what happens on the Common itself. Behind the scenes, there are the phones, emails and post to answer, the website to keep up to date, fundraising and finances to manage, official paperwork to ensure compliance with nature conservation and farming regulations, meetings to arrange.... and plenty more.