The report of the Royal Commission on Common Lands (of which both authors were members) revealed not only the chaotic state of the laws relating to the commons but also the lack of information regarding their nature, distribution and extent. Some commons being shamefully misused, while some very large tracts are lying idle and serving no useful purpose either economically or for public enjoyment.
In this book Dr Hoskins deals with the history of commons, and related legal aspects; Dr Stamp with the nature conservation. The list of commons and village greens are based on hitherto unpublished returns made by local authorities to the Royal Commission – covering the staggering total of one and a half million acres.
“A book for whatever part of England and Wales one knows and likes, a book which enables the reader to see and feel the country of now and the past in a new way.”
“Dr Hoskins opens with a survey to which that overworked adjective masterly may without exaggeration be applied.”
“A unique volume: never before has there been gathered together in such pleasant accessible form all this is authoritatively known about the common lands. The authors and publisher are to be warmly congratulated on a work which will be essential for students of social history, and also valuable to all who like to escape from the cities and the crowds to enjoy natural beauty. Excellent illustrations, tables and maps.”