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Brill Common lies adjacent to the north west edge of Brill village in Buckinghamshire. It consists of approximately 30 hectares of common land, comprising unenclosed grassland crossed by two roads. The Common is much used by villagers and also by visitors from across Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire who come to visit the historic windmill and then walk, picnic and fly kites on the Common. 

What is Common Land?
What is unimproved grassland?

The geology of Brill Common is a complex of Portland Limestone, acidic Lower Greensand and Kimmeridge Clay. There is a history of industrial activity; the Common was heavily quarried for clay until the end of the 19th Century resulting in an undulating landscape, making the area quite unsuitable for mechanical management. 



Around 3% of the land area of England is recognised as common land. In general terms, common land is owned by one person over which another person is entitled to exercise rights of common, one of which is the right to graze animals.

Clearing years of neglect prior to grazing

Brill Brick & Tile Company

The Common was designated a Local Wildlife site in 1997 due to its ecological interest. At about this time traditional grazing on the Common ceased, a story repeated on most other commons in this country, and for the subsequent years lack of management resulted in an overgrowth of scrub, bramble, tree seedlings and rank grass, nearly destroying this precious and increasingly rare  unimproved grassland. The thatch of dense cover all but swamped the botanical interest for which the site was previously known.


In 2009 a professional ecologist recommended that in time the common could be restored by conservation grazing.


Click                to look at some of the flora and fauna that, thanks to careful management, are now able to be seen on the Common

Unimproved grassland, such as Brill Common, is permanent grassland which has not been cultivated or received artificial fertiliser for many years. It is the single most threatened type of grassland habitat in the UK and has suffered the greatest loss in the last eighty years.

Brill Common

 North Hills

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