common land (Scotland)

Scotland’s lowland commons were appropriated into private estates from the 12thC. The legal process of enclosure was simple relative to that required in England. In the18thC thousands of highlanders were forcibly evicted from their landholdings, often brutally (the Highland Clearances). The category of common land called ‘crofting common grazings’, the rights to which were obtained in the late 19thC, now occupies 540,000ha, 7% of Scotland’s total area, mainly in the north-west.

This definition is abridged from A – Z of tree terms: A companion to British arboriculture.
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