Why Long Lands?
Between 2016 and 2019 the founder members of Long Lands Common spent much of their time campaigning against the proposed Inner Northern Relief Road.
Had it been built, the road would have ruined the peace and tranquillity in Nidd Gorge, destroyed the fantastic biodiversity hotspot of Bilton Fields and weakened the protection offered to Harrogate & Knaresborough by the Green Belt .
This was the third time since 1986 that local communities have had to campaign to defend Nidd Gorge and the Green Belt against the same road. Every decade, it seems, the road idea resurfaces and threatens to overwhelm our towns with development and the destruction of nature.
The greenbelt land at Long Lands Common lies in the path of the road.
It was once common land, accessible to all, before it became enclosed within Bilton Park, a hunting chase in the Royal Forest of Knaresborough , then private farmland after the Act of Enclosure in 1770 – exactly 250 years ago this year. https://maps.nls.uk/view/102344737#zoom=4&lat=4231&lon=8513&layers=BT
By taking control of this land and returning it to a commons, in perpetuity, the community can send an overwhelming message to the politicians and developers that this land belongs to us all - people, wildlife and future generations -forever.