Common land is not land that is owened by everyone (a popular misconception) - all commons have an
owner, whether private individual, a public body (e.g. parish council) or charitable body such as the
National Trust. The Dashwood Estate owns Naphill Common.
The public have a statutory right of access to Naphill Common.
Commoners are those who have, or formerly held, specific rights, for example to graze livestock on the common.
Common rights are attached to specific properties, rather than people and are passed on down through the centuries with the property's deeds. The commoners are the current owners of these properties.
Natural England is responsible for designating the common as a Site of Special Scientific Interest and for monitoring its condition, but it is not responsible for its stewardship or management of any kind.
In addition the common is of such importance for nature conservation it has been designated a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) under EU legislation. (Natural England oversees this process in the UK).
For further information on Commons please see links below:- >
Chilterns Commons Fact Sheet 1 What is common land?
Chilterns Commons Fact Sheet 2 Common land - rights and responsibilities