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Common Land

What is Common Land?

Approximately 8.4% of Wales is covered by registered common land amounting to around 175,000 hectares. Many small commons abut each other, making large areas of common land across Wales.  These small commons may have different owners and different rights holders.  

Many commons are important for agriculture in Wales, providing grazing for sheep and cattle.  In addition, many commons are enjoyed for their leisure and environmental interests.  Some are in National Parks or are owned by the National Trust. 

Common land can provide important habitat for protected birds, wildlife and plants.

Commons Act 2006

The Commons Act 2006 will protect our common land for current and future generations, and deliver real benefits in terms of sustainable farming, public access and biodiversity. 

The Act aims to:

  • protect common land from development;
  • allow more sustainable management of common land;
  • improve protection of common land from neglect and abuse; and
  • modernise registration of common land and greens to ensure that all enjoy the same protection.

Section 38: Works on Common Land

Planning Inspectorate Wales are responsible for deciding on applications made under section 38 on common land and town or village greens. Information on common land in Wales and what to do if you are planning to do work on, or take land out of, the common.


  • On the 1 April 2012, the Common Land Search fee increased to £20.
  • A charge of £30 per hour will be made for investigations into the Common Land Register.

Inspecting the Register

The Common Land Register is available for public inspection during normal office hours. If you would like to make an appointment to view the register, please contact us using the contact details below.

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Current Applications: Section 38

Application of Betws Commons Holdings Ltd to Welsh Ministers seeking consent under Section 38 of the Commons Act 2006 with regard to stock proof fencing and formation of two cattle grids on Betws Common, Ammanford (October 2017).

The application can be viewed online:

Please note, Carmarthenshire County Council is not responsible for granting of common land consents.  These documents are for information purposes only and have been placed on our website at the request of Betws Commons Holding Ltd.

Page updated on: 08/11/2017

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