Friday, March 17, 2006

The Greenham & Crookham Commons Commission - 3 years on

The Commission was established by Act of Parliament in 2002 and commenced work on 4th March 2004. The Commission consists of 10 Commissioners appointed by various bodies such as the local Councils, English Nature and the Open Spaces Society and 10 Commissioners elected by the commoners.

At its first meeting I was lucky enough to be elected Chairman and I think it is fair to say over the last three years the Commission has achieved a lot.

  • There is increased public awareness of the Greenham and Crookham Commons Act.
  • The detailed Management Plan is well underway and a completed draft should be ready by winter 2006.
  • A Grazing Committee has been set up to manage grazing on the Common.
  • Grazing Regulations have been written, consulted on, approved by the Commission and are awaiting confirmation by the Secretary of State.
  • Access regulations have been drafted and consultation is underway.
  • Increased recreational use of the Common.
  • The re-landscaped area is being actively managed under the Act and improving as a conservation habitat.
  • Ongoing conservation grazing by Commoners cattle and ponies.
  • There is a very active and growing Greenham Conservation Volunteer group (see link
  • Greater public say in how the Common is managed.
  • Recognition of the Commission in the Planning Process (indeed last night we agreed to set up a sub committee specifically to deal with planning issues which affect the common).

The appointed Commissioners are reappointed annually. The elected commissioners face an election every three years and their term of office is now up.

The election process will now commence and by the beginning of July we will have a new set of commissioners.

This all seems a long way from 1992 when the Ministry of Defence declared Greenham Common Airbase surplus to military requirements. I wrote an article for Liberator some time ago about “swords into ploughshares” about the battle to return the commons to the public.

If anyone is interested I may reproduce it on this blog.

Meanwhile if you want to know some more about the background go here


Anonymous said...

OH go on - post the article, I sometimes get asked about the history and havent a clue.

Nicola said...

I think you have developed this project very well over the years - I know how much work you have put in personally as well ....... you should be proud of what you have achieved - I hope the future brings as much sucess.