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Friends of the Lake District have been the proud owners of Little Asby Common near Orton for the last twenty years. For the last 80 plus years we have championed common land as it delivers so many benefits for the public:

  • Wide open spaces
  • Open access
  • Tranquillity
  • Nature and wildlife
  • Carbon sequestration
  • Peat
  • Water supplies

With Cumbria having over a third of England’s common land, it is no surprise that common land has featured a lot in the history of Friends of the Lake District and that we wanted to be actual owners of an actual common to gain more experience on top of our policy work.

The cultural heritage of common land and communal grazing is central to the Lake District World Heritage Site. But, as we have a nature crisis and a climate change crisis, the more hidden crisis few people are aware of is a commoner crisis – the number of active commoners and hefted flocks are both decreasing and for some commons, they are at tipping point.

Many people are unaware of what common land really is and how it is managed, but one of the partner projects we are involved in, led by the Foundation for Common Land, called 'Our Upland Commons' has been showcasing some of this work. It has produced an absolutely fascinating set of short blogs or videos covering subjects such as ear tagging and gathering on the commons, through to how to calculate the carbon on Kinniside Common.

So if you have a spare five minutes and want to hear more about our common land, just look at the pictures of upland Lakeland, or listen to our local dialects, have a look. You can find the videos at:

Lets hope you feel as inspired and humbled as we do, watching these commoners who maintain our common land for us all to enjoy.