Siston Common – Cattle Grazing – Update from South Gloucestershire Council June 2024

Siston Common Grazing Plan: Update

The Common Connections project team are continuing work to develop a plan to enable grazing to return to Siston Common and will shortly be submitting a Planning Application seeking approval for the fencing, gates, and other infrastructure items needed. The consultation that took place last year showed there is a lot of support for the proposal. If Planning Approval for these items is granted, this does not necessarily mean that grazing animals will return to this part of the Common. A further separate application to the Secretary of State for ‘Section 38 Consent for Works on Common Land’ will also need to be submitted. However, without Planning Consent to install the fencing, gates and other infrastructure items needed, grazing wouldn’t be able to take place, and this is the reason for the decision to press ahead with the application.

The Planning Application is expected to be submitted within the next few weeks, just as soon as the necessary maps and drawings required to accompany the application have been completed. Notices providing detail about the Planning Application will then be posted on site, so everyone will have an opportunity to comment on the application.

If this Planning Application is unsuccessful, or if the Section 38 Consent for Works on Common Land isn’t granted, it won’t be possible to progress the grazing plan further at this stage. In this event, a Plan B is being developed to enable grazing to take place on another part of Siston Common. Siston Common was until recent decades continuously grazed for hundreds of years. The grazing of the Common has greatly contributed to the creation and conservation of the valuable species rich grasslands that are still evident. Grazing of these grasslands is the most effective way to conserve this increasingly rare habitat and support the biodiversity that depends on the Common.