12th February 2024
Common Lands uses as its impetus the stories of people, place and collective action, inspired by histories of access to land, land ownership and the duty of care for nature.
As part of our research & development for this programme we are partnering with the Open Spaces Society, Museum of English Rural Life (MERL) and North Yorkshire Together to explore what Common Lands means at the hyperlocal level, exploring village and community green spaces.
We want to better understand how the general public use and engage with their village green, their awareness of rights around lawful sports & pastimes that enable their local village green to be protected and how many of the UK’s population are aware of the ability to register and preserve access to local village community green spaces for future generations.
Having expanded our definition of heritage to include organisations that hold intangible cultural heritage or have responsibility for safeguarding environmental heritage. Common Lands will focus on these aspects of our heritage and crucially will pivot to create projects that are driven by communities, that increase opportunities for sharing knowledge and perspectives and promote the learning of new skills. It will embed care and foreground co-created projects nationally that create small positive tangible incremental change for lasting impact.
The starting point for projects comes from communities with artistic and academic research. Large and small scale activism and partnerships which value and support environmental quality, inclusivity, community well-being, and biodiversity will be at its heart. While always acknowledging and highlighting voices traditionally excluded from narratives of land access and ownership, we want to bring to light progressive historic environmental movements that give voice and value to radicals from the past, informing the present and inspiring the future.