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Commons land

Lincoln is very fortunate in that it has three large areas of common land within the city. This area is open to all members of the public and can be used for play, a leisurely stroll, walking the dog, or even grazing a horse!

Reporting problems with the Commons

To report a problem make a complaint or make a general enquiry about any of the commons use our online form.

Maintaining the Commons

All of Lincoln’s commons are protected by the Lincoln City Council Act 1985 which states that the City Council ‘has a duty to maintain and to preserve the aspect of the Commons as an open space.’ In conjunction with the Act are sets of byelaws, which are displayed at each common.

The Commons are supported by the Lincoln commons advisory committee, whose members are committed to the preservation of Lincoln’s historic common land.

West Common

West common is situated to the north and south of Carholme Road. It is an area of open land giving excellent views of the Cathedral and the historic hilltop. The West common:

  • Has an area of some 100 hectares
  • Has been designated as an area of critical asset and nature conservation importance
  • Consists mainly of semi-improved grassland
  • Represents 11 per cent of the city’s natural grassland/marsh resource
  • Supports a population of skylark
  • Supports a number of sports facilities including football, tennis, cricket, bowls and a golf course. 
  • For information the golf course is managed by Carholme Golf Club who lease an area of the West Common for this purpose. It should be noted that the area of the golf course is Common land and the rights of the public to roam this area are not affected by this lease.
West common

South Common

South Common is situated in the area of Cross O’Cliff Hill and Canwick Road. It:

  • Has an area of some 80 hectares
  • Has been designated a site of nature conservation importance
South common


The Cowpaddle is situated off Washingborough Road. It:

  • Has a smaller area of 16 hectares
  • Supports a number of football pitches and changing facilities. 
Cow paddle

Grazing a horse on Lincoln’s Common land

Every resident householder within the city is entitled to graze a horse on any of the three commons. Animals must be registered with the City Council through the City Council’s licensing department.