Town and village greens

View common land and town and village green registers and how to apply to register a new town and village green.

Town and village greens

Land can be registered as a green if it’s been used by local people for recreational pastimes for at least 20 years.

We’re responsible for maintaining and updating the town or village green registers for land in Bristol and also processing new applications.

Find out if land is registered

You can find registered land by viewing our common land and town or village green registers on this page.

You can view the register in person for free during normal office hours.  Call 0117 922 3506 to make an appointment.

You can also contact us to request a search.  There’s a cost of £14 for this service.

See local land charges search for more information.

How to register a town or village green

Anyone can apply to have land registered as a green if it meets the legal criteria.

The owner of land can also apply to register that land as a green without showing previous use of the land for sports and pastimes.

If the land is leased for more than a seven-year term, or subject to a charge (or mortgage), then the consent of the leaseholder or chargeholder will be needed.

How to apply

Applicants must prove that the land has been used by a significant group of people in the neighbourhood for recreational pastimes, like picnics, games, fetes etc, for 20 years or more as of right (without the permission of the landowner). 

Post to: Commons Registration Authority, Care of the Interim Service Director, Legal Services, PO Box 3176, Bristol, BS3 9FS.

What happens next

We’ll check your application and if we need more information we’ll contact you.

If your case isn’t straightforward, we’ll ask a qualified inspector to look at your application.  The inspector will recommend if the land should be registered as a town and village green.

In complex cases, the inspector will hold a public inquiry to decide whether the land should be registered.  In these cases the final decision is taken by our Public Rights of Way and Greens Committee (PROWG) which takes into account the inspector’s recommendations.

PROWG is a committee of councillors from all political groups represented on the council.

Cost

There’s no cost for an application to register a town or village green.  However, there will be costs if you have legal representation.

How long it takes

An application to register a town or village green can take up to a year.

See Town and village green application procedure for more information.

Landowner statements and deposits

Landowners may at any time make an application under the Highways Act 1980 identifying paths over their land they admit to having been dedicated as highways (if any). This is known as a Section 31(6) deposit.

The lodging of a deposit under Section 31(6) Highways Act 1980 may protect land from claims made by members of the public to add any extra public paths to the Definitive Map and Statement, which are based on evidence of public use.

Landowners can also protect their land from its registration as a town or village green, following long term recreational use, by submitting an application under the Commons Act 2006.

How to make an application

Fill in the Commons Act 2006: landowner statements, highways statements and declarations form CA16 (GOV.UK).

Cost

The fee for applications made using form CA16 is £300.

View the common land and town and village green registers

Common Land Register

Village Green Register

Also see Common Land and Village Green maps

Notices

Inspectors recommendations published in advance of PROWG meetings

These reports contain recommendations to be considered by PROWG.

Recommendations are not decisions. Decisions in these cases are taken by PROWG.

Landowner statements and deposits