Things are moving very quickly, and we understand that you will have questions. Please do ask us anything. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is "common land" and who owns it?
Common land is land subject to rights enjoyed by one or more persons to take or use part of a piece of land or of the produce of a piece of land which is owned by someone else – these rights are referred to as ‘rights of common’. Those entitled to exercise such rights were called commoners. It is a popular misconception that common land is land owned by the general public and to which everyone has unrestricted right of access. All common land is private property, whether the owner is an individual or a corporation. Historically, the owner of the common was normally the lord of the manor. Today many commons are owned by local authorities, the National Trust and other bodies for the public benefit, but not all commons offer total access to all comers. Under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 (popularly known as ‘CRoW’), there is a new right of public access to open country and registered common land, subject to certain defined restrictions. Source: https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/help-with-your-research/research-guides/common-lands/
Is the auction cancelled?
Yes! The owner has withdrawn Lot 259 from auction. It has now been marked as "Sold Prior" on the Allsop website.
When do you expect to complete on the purchase?
We are targeting January 2024. The charity is now registered with the Charities Commission and also registered for gift aid. The current owners are happy to work to this time-frame. Our respective solicitors have exchanged terms and deposit - we are bound to the purchase.
What can I do to help?
There are so many ways to get involved, in both our short and longer-term goals. There are three main areas where you can help:
Time: We will be maintaining and improving over 35 acres of land. Everything from litter-picking, grassland and woodland management, to documenting and protecting local wildlife. A number of local volunteer groups already exist, but simply put, the more the merrier (and it really is a lot of fun!).
Skills: A number of people have already been in touch to offer their particular set of skills. We are fortunate to have some very talented individuals in Harpenden, and there's likely to be a way you can help. Everything from accountancy and law, to fungi and flora. If you're willing to share your expertise then we'd love to hear from you!
Financial: The community has already been extremely generous with donations, but to secure our long-term plans we need to ensure continued funding. Whatever you are able to pledge, no matter how much, will allow us to ensure the protection and improvement of our much loved Common. Please get in touch via email.
We commit to returning any donations made, should we be unable to complete the purchase of the land. The Government provides tax-incentives for charitable donations. More detail about how this works can be found at https://www.gov.uk/donating-to-charity.