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Local spaces: open minds - inspirational ideas for managing lowland commons and other green spaces

Edwards, V., (2015) Local spaces: open minds - inspirational ideas for managing lowland commons and other green spaces. Project Report. Chilterns AONB, Chinnor, UK.

Text (Chilterns Commons Project Report) - Published Version
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The Chiltern commons are typical of those in the south east of England: small and numerous, but with the potential to provide important natural green space whilst contributing to environmental sustainability. In order to keep commons in good heart, they need to be managed. However, as activities such as grazing and coppicing become unviable on the commons, owners need to find sustainable roles beyond traditional agricultural and silvicultural practices. This paper examines ways of making management pay. It begins by exploring the economic, social and environmental challenges of sustainable management within the context of contemporary life. Section 2 identifies the different ways in which revenue contributions might be made towards the management of commons. Section 3 examines the relevant legal and other restrictions and Section 4 offers insights into where management proposals might offer multiple positive benefits, but also where there is the potential to cause conflict with environmental and social interests. Section 5 explores alternative funding streams for commons. Finally, Section 6 concludes with practical tips for the owners and managers of commons in the Chilterns and identifies areas for further research. Full references, links and resources are provided in the footnotes and appendix.

Item Type:Report (Project Report)
Divisions:Henley Business School > Real Estate and Planning
ID Code:40548
Uncontrolled Keywords:Common Property Resources, common land
Additional Information:This set of reports looks to the future and provides a refreshing look at how commons and open spaces can be enjoyed, treasured and valued, offering some real insight into the key challenges facing commons across the south of England that are no longer in agricultural management. Each report encourages us to have an open mind about these local spaces, not to preserve them as they are, or as we think they should be, but to make them the centre of a thriving and buzzing community; places to explore and be creative, to bring meaning to our increasingly sedentary lives. Such places should not be managed from afar by people who have little or no local connection, nor lack the funds for management because of constraints on the public purse because the vital knowledge, skills, creativeness and determination all exist within the Chilterns. The final report, Profit or Loss, assesses the issue of funding the management of open spaces. As the other reports have made clear, management is critical to their future but it is also true that management costs in both resources and time. Finding suitable monetary arrangements to re-invest in them is therefore important. The wide range of ideas presented should be considered carefully by all. Valuing an open space according to its true worth means that people will pay if they can see that the money is reinvested back into the site management. Vigilant and persuasive people acting on behalf of the site will also make sure that any new development or similar activity has appropriate mitigation, and the open spaces within the Chilterns provide a good environment for this to take place.
Publisher:Chilterns AONB


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