Stewardship Scheme

In the past the management of the green was a haphazard affair. Pigs, geese, horses and people living in its margins made what use they pleased of it. Up until 2010, the green had been managed for a decade under Defra’s Countryside Stewardship Scheme and it is currently being managed under their “Natural England Higher Level Stewardship Scheme”, for which the council receives a grant. The scheme manages the green with the intent of creating a species rich, permanent grassland providing an attractive habitat for birds and other forms of wildlife.

As part of the management, the green must be mown for hay in July and the material left for the seeds to drop through before baling. It is then grazed by sheep in the autumn. If a hay cut were not to be taken, grazing pressure would need to increase in order to manage the grassland and the diversity of flowers could be lost. Alternatively, if a hay cut were not taken and grazing did not take place, rank grassland would soon develop leaving a litter layer inhibiting subsequent growth in future years.

The management scheme also contains conditions which echo the provisions of the Commons Acts as well as the byelaws; i.e. No dumping of rubbish or clippings, no parking or driving wheeled vehicles (except agricultural machinery) no metal detecting and no grass cutting (except by concession of the PC to allow owners whose land abuts the green to cut a strip to prevent weeds encroaching into their hedges).