When the Commons became surplus to military use in 1993, a Trust (now Greenham Trust) was formed to purchase the land. The land on which the base had stood became a commercial business park, managed by the Trust, and in 1995 Greenham and Crookham Commons were sold to West Berkshire Council by the Trust for £1.
The area of the Commons comprises around 500ha of open heathland and woods, with some contaminated ground and military relics to restore and manage. The commoner’s rights were confused and needed regularizing and grazing was to be introduced, requiring a fenceline to define the area for grazing.
To carry out these works required an Act of Parliament, The Greenham and Crookham Commons Act 2002. This Act sets out a legal framework for the management of the Commons and the protection of Commoners rights by the Commons Commission, working with West Berkshire Council.
As part of the work under the Act, a formal framework, the Commons Management Plan, was set up to establish the common land status, and enable all works to be instituted with safeguards for the public. While this plan is no longer current, and the management now falls to Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust, the online plan still gives the most comprehensive public facing view of what the Commission and BBOWT are working to achieve. There is also a Vision for the Commons – Our Common Future.
The Commons before the Act had separate bye-laws; it became incumbent on the Commission to draw up new regulations for the combined Common. The current Byelaws are available online. New Byelaws are being considered by the Commission.
A Land Management Report is considered at each meeting of the Commission and can be found under Minutes pages. Other reports on the Commons can also be found on the Minutes pages, and will be included here where relevant.