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Stoke Common

Flowering Grose and Heather at Stoke Common

​Gorse and Heather create a colourful display.

History and habitats

Stoke Common covers an area of 80 hectares and contains the largest remnant of Buckinghamshire's once extensive heathland. The heathland is created by a combination of land management (including grazing) that keeps the vegetation open, and poor, acidic soils. It plays an important role in providing habitats for some very rare plants, animals and insects that are quite different from those of grassland and woodlands. Heathland is one of the rarest habitats in Britain, take a look at our wildlife page for more information. 

Before 1810 Stoke Common consisted of 480 acres of open common land on which villagers had rights to cut turf for fuel, to gather heather and bracken and to graze their animals. When the common was enclosed in 1810 all common rights were lost and replaced by a 'poor fuel allotment'.  This allowed the villagers to take fuel from 200 acres. Ultimately this was superseded by a Coal Club and all rights to collect fuel were lost.  Administration and ownership passed through the Parish Council, followed by South Buckinghamshire District Council in 1993 and finally to the City of London in 2007.​

Birch cutting at Stoke Common

The Friends of Stoke Common volunteer group meet every month to work on the common.

The common is of great value to local people who prize the open aspect and wilderness feel to the site and use it for quiet recreational activities such as walking, bike riding and horse riding.


To find out about volunteer activities on Stoke common visit the volunteers page.

19 April 2012
Last Modified:
11 September 2019