Over 100 people attended the AGM last Friday at Newton Rigg. Started by commoners 10 years ago and run by commoners, we have grown steadily over the years. Our membership manages nearly 20% of the common land in England. This makes the Federation a force to be reckoned with and one of the very few authentic bodies speaking for the commons of the country.
MOD undertook a public consultation between May and July this year on its proposal to revise two undertakings given in respect of land at Warcop Training Area. The Federation was not invited to take part in the consultation/ comment on the proposals. We heard about it through a solicitor in Appleby after the end of the consultation period.
We have been busy over the last six months trying to represent and support the commoners of Cumbria and also learn from what others are doing. Below is a selection of the activities we have been involved with.
We were awarded a grant by the Cumbria Community Foundation to cover the costs of four people to attend the AGM of the Dartmoor Commons Council and visit Commoners’ Associations in Bodmin Moor and Exmoor to learn about their plans to set up local Commons Councils.
Three members of our committee were recently invited on a tour to look at common land farming systems in Northern Spain. Our group was privileged to meet a number of farmers and various environmentalists, researchers and administrators with whom they were collaborating.
This project was part-funded by the European Forum on Nature Conservation and Pastoralism as part of their 2010 work programme supported by the European Commission (DG Environment) under the Life+ NGO support grant.