Two national organisations which champion common land, the Foundation for Common Land and the Open Spaces Society, have welcomed the news that Natural England has created a new post of Principal Specialist on Commons with effect from 1 April.

The new role will ensure that common land is given a higher profile within Natural England and will bring together the multi interests in commons: agriculture, biodiversity, landscape and public enjoyment.  The postholder is Pippa Langford, formerly Natural England’s Manager in People and Access.

Says Pippa: ‘As the new lead on commons for Natural England I will be working with commons stakeholders to help conserve and enhance commons.  Natural England recognises that commons, derived from traditional farming systems, are very special places for wildlife, landscape and millions of people.  We also recognise that working on commons is often complex, so another part of my new role will be to support our local advisers in their work on commons.’

The Executive Director of the Foundation for Common Land, Julia Aglionby, said We are delighted that commons are receiving the recognition they deserve through this appointment.  We and commoners throughout England look forward to working with Pippa to ensure that these iconic landscapes can continue to be farmed for the benefit of future generations.’

Adds Kate Ashbrook, general secretary of the Open Spaces Society: ‘No land type has so much public interest as commons and they are relevant to all aspects of Natural England’s work.  It is excellent that Natural England, recognising their importance, has brought all aspects of commons together in one role.’