Report provides snapshot of common good land use in England

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Polly Allen
2 December, 2019


Land use think tank, Shared Assets, has released new research which aims to provide a detailed snapshot of common good land use in England.

Shared Assets is a social enterprise think and do tank that promotes land management for the common good, rather than personal gain.

The group estimates that there are 900 of these groups in the UK and the report maps their activities, as well as their structures and needs.

The report, Common Good Land Use In England: State Of The Sector Report 2019, includes sections on finance, workforce, networks and challenges and barriers. It makes the following key recommendations:


For people wanting to create common good land use projects

  • Be clear about your purpose and build in time for reflection
  • Visit existing projects and ask the hard question
  • Research the best land tenure and legal structure for your project


For existing common good land users

  • Use your networks, but look beyond your silos to build a broad base of support
  • Consider cross-subsidising, so different elements of your project can support each other
  • Think widely about how you make and demonstrate an impact, as this can be hard to quantify through traditional means


For landowners

  • Make your interest in working with common good land users known, detail the type of land you have to offer, and lay out any restrictions you have
  • Don’t treat common good land users like standard commercial partners
  • Set out everyone’s rights and responsibilities clearly at the start of a relationship via a formal agreement


For policy makers and funders

  • Make transparent and detailed information on land readily available
  • Consider strengthening community right to buy legislation and the creation of a Land Fund in England
  • Make ecologically sound and socially valuable land management material considerations in planning decisions
  • Get up to speed on common good land use, and be led by groups’ aims and the support they say they need to fulfil their objectives over the long term
  • Look to build on the networks and connections that already exist, rather than creating new support programmes
  • Fund multi-year core costs (not just project costs) to support growth and sustainability – including staffing, to challenge the reliance on volunteers and on low pay


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