Common land can be defined as utilised agricultural area used by the agricultural holding but not belonging directly to it, i.e. on which common rights apply.
In general terms, common land is utilised agricultural area (UAA) owned by a public authority (state, parish, etc.) over which another person is entitled to exercise rights of common, and these rights are generally exercisable in common with others.
Common land is found in Mediterranean Member States (Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Cyprus and Portugal), in mountainous countries (Austria, Norway and Switzerland), in some East European countries (Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Montenegro and Serbia), in countries which have extensive grassland areas (Ireland, United Kingdom and Iceland) and in Germany.
Common land consists mainly of permanent grassland, although it could also consist of horticulture or arable land. A large percentage of these areas is used for grazing animals.
In common land units, the area used by each holding is not individualised but is counted as part of the utilised agricultural area (UAA).
- Common land as utilised agricultural area (UAA) not rented by the agricultural holding (implying that the holding might not pay for its use)
- Common land as utilised agricultural area if the holding rents a specified area and pays for it (normally a written or oral agreement exists)
- Common land that is not used for agriculture
- Permanent grassland
- Utilised agricultural area (UAA)
- Legal personality of the holding
- Type of tenure