Laindon Common

Heathland restoration

By John Ellis

Laindon Common, Little Burstead is in the old Parish of Laindon and managed on behalf of Basildon Council,  by the Laindon Common Conservators.

They are currently trying to restore part of the Common to lowland heath, which is a rare habitat in this part of the world and with its restoration they hope to bring back some of the flora and fauna which existed here not too many years ago. A recent survey has revealed that 81 species of birds have been recorded on or adjacent to the boundaries of the common  and in 1987 more than 120 different moths were recorded, including the rare Waved Black. But the disappearing habitat will mean the loss of many of these species so over the coming months volunteers will be conducting regular work parties following a plan based on professional advice and the expert opinion of numerous naturalists. Some of the older residents remember when the common was resplendent with gorse, broom and heather and alive the song of linnets.

In days gone by poor quality land surplus to the Lord of the Manor's requirements was granted to selected families and houses for grazing. Each of the commoners were granted several 'stints' which allowed them to graze a variety of animals. These stints still exist today and a few commoners have these grazing rights although it is a common misconception that anyone can use the common in this way. The common has its own bye-laws one of which forbids the 'sorting of rags and the making of chairs'! Part of the work program includes the restoration of an ancient well that has been sited on the common for several hundred years and provided the only water for   some local residents not so long ago. A few sheep will soon be introduced to help return part of the common to meadowland and the wild flowers that will follow will encourage butterflies and there   will be a small pond to help increase the population of reptiles, amphibians and dragonflies

Part of this project is to be funded by the Colin Reid Countryside Trust along with a some regular funding from the Council. Anyone with expert knowledge about the natural world or who is fit and able would be welcomed at any of our regular work parties, if so please contact John Ellis by emailing laindonarchive@gmail.com

This page was added by Ian Mott on 11/10/2012.
Add a comment about this page

If you're already a registered user of this site, please login using the form on the left-hand side of this page.