Banstead Commons and Banstead Commons Conservators
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Banstead Commons Act and Byelaws
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A copy of the Metropolitan Commons (Banstead), Supplemental Act, 1893 is available here.

Printed below are the BCC Byelaws as published in 1894.  There are 21 Byelaws that together provide a framework for regulating the use and protection of the commons.  Although the language is, at times, somewhat archaic, these Byelaws together with the Act of 1893 under which they are authorised, provide effective protection for the Commons.  

A number of changes have occurred resulting from more general legislation.  The most important of these are: 
    1) Conservators and their officers no longer have the power of arrest.
   2) The maximum fines for violation of the Byelaws are updated, by Government, in accordance with the Criminal Justice Act 1982

Metropolitan Commons (Banstead), Supplemental Act, 1893.



                WHEREAS by the Scheme for the establishment of local management with respect to Banstead Downs, Banstead Heath, Burgh Heath, and Park Downs in the County of Surrey, duly confirmed by the “Metropolitan Commons (Banstead) Supplemental Act, 1893”, power is given to the Conservators appointed by and under the authority of the said Scheme to frame Bye-laws for the purposes therein stated:  Now we, being the Conservators appointed by and under the authority of the said Scheme, do hereby make the following Bye-laws, which are to commence and take effect immediately after the same shall have been allowed by the Local Government Board, and so to continue until the same shall be altered or repealed according to the provisions of the said Scheme: and we do by such Bye-laws impose the penalties and further penalties in the same Bye-laws respectively mentioned.


1.             In the construction of these Bye-laws –

                             “The Commons” means the pieces of land, with the ponds and roads thereon, commonly called or known by the names of Banstead Downs, Banstead Heath, Burgh Heath, and Park Downs, and the small piece of waste with the Jubilee tree planted thereon, in the parish of Banstead in the County of Surrey.

                             “The Conservators” means the Conservators for the time being regulating and managing “The Commons” under and by virtue of the Scheme confirmed by the Metropolitan Commons (Banstead) Supplemental Act, 1893.

                              The term “unauthorised person” means any person, except a person for the time being duly authorised by the Conservators, in writing, or a person acting legally by virtue of some estate or interest, or in the legal exercise of some right saved by the said Scheme in, over, or affecting the Commons or some part thereof, or a person duly authorised by a person entitled so to act as aforesaid.

                          Words importing the masculine gender shall be deemed and taken to include females, and the singular to include the plural, and the plural the singular, and the whole any part.

                             “Person” includes corporation, aggregate or sole.


2.             No idle and disorderly person, gipsy, squatter, vagrant, gambler, card-sharper, seller and exhibitor of infamous books, photographs, pictures or prints, shall  frequent or resort to or remain upon the Commons; and it shall be the duty of any constable or any officer of the Conservators to remove or exclude from the Commons any such person, and all persons guilty of brawling, fighting or quarrelling, or using indecent and improper language.


3.             No unauthorised person shall encamp upon the Commons, or erect or place any shed, hut, platform, booth, tent, post, hurdle, roundabout, swing, shooting gallery, sticks for throwing at toys, cocoa nuts or Aunt Sallies, or other apparatus for games or amusements, or other erection, or cause any obstruction thereon, or take money for any games or amusements.  And no unauthorised person shall turn out, or graze, or permit to graze, stray, or remain on the Commons any cattle, sheep, horse, ass, mule, or other animals.


4.             No unauthorised person shall cut, dig, take, or sell any turf, sods, gravel, clay, peat, loam, sand or other substance from or disturb the surface of the Commons.


5.             No unauthorised person shall cut, fell, or in anywise injure any tree, shrub, brushwood, gorse, heather, fern, grass, or  other  plants  upon the Commons, or light any fire upon the Commons, or wilfully or negligently place, throw, or let fall any lighted or combustible substance, article, or thing which may cause, or be likely to cause, damage by fire to any turf, trees, shrubs, brushwood, gorse, heather, fern, grass, or other plants upon the Commons.


6.             All persons legally entitled to take, cut, or fell any turf, trees, brushwood, gorse, heather, fern, gravel, sand, loam, clay, or the like, from the Commons shall, in so doing, abstain from committing any unnecessary damage to the Commons, or the turf, trees, shrubs, brushwood, gorse, heather, fern, grass, or other natural product thereof, and all such persons entitled as aforesaid shall observe and abide by the following regulations, that is to say:-


                                (a)  No turf, trees, brushwood, gorse, heather, fern, gravel, sand, loam, clay, or the like, shall be dug, cut, felled, or taken, from or on any part of the Commons which may be temporarily enclosed by the Conservators for the revival of the turf, shrubs, trees, plants or grass thereon, or set apart for cricket or other games, if similar turf, or other such respective substances or products as aforesaid, can be conveniently taken, cut, dug, or felled from some other part of the Commons.


                                (b)  All fresh gravel and other pits and excavations shall, as far as possible, be made with sloping sides,  so as to prevent accidents to animals or persons straying or falling therein.


                                (c)  If in any year the Conservators shall, with the consent of the shooting tenant for the time being of any part of the Commons, prescribe a day before which on such part of the Commons fern or heather shall not be cut or taken, then fern or heather shall not be cut or taken in such year on or from such part of the Commons before the prescribed day.


7.             No unauthorised person shall make any enclosure or encroachment or erect any fence on the Commons, or place, deposit, or scatter, have or retain on the Commons any road sand, materials for the repair of the roads, dung, rubbish, manure, cinders, road sweepings, soot, timber, bavins, bricks, building materials, bottles or glass, paper or other substance, or resort to the Commons for the purpose of making mortar.


8.             No person shall throw or place in any pond on the Commons any earth, wood, glass, crockery, metal, paper, or other rubbish or refuse, or the dead body of any animal.


9.             No unauthorised person shall injure, deface, remove, or disfigure by posting thereon of bills, placards or notices, any tree, seat, notice, or notice-board, posts, chains, railings, fences, or barriers which may be upon the Commons.


10.           No person, except with the authority of the owner of the soil, shall catch any bird on the Commons, or set any trap, gin, or net, or lay any snare of any description for any bird or animal, or take the eggs or nests of birds, or shoot or chase game or other animals, or allow his dog to chase, injure, or kill any bird or animal upon the Commons, or bring or put on to the Commons any birds or animals for the purpose of being shot or chased.


11,           No unauthorised person shall ply for hire or let out any horses, ponies, mules, asses, goats, or other animals, with or without carts or carriages, upon the Commons.


12.           No unauthorised person shall draw, drive, stand, or place any waggon, van, cart, carriage, truck, velocipede, or other vehicle, upon the Commons.


13.           No unauthorised person shall exercise any horse on or across the Commons, so as to injure the turf of the Commons, and no person shall ride any horse over the Commons in a manner likely to endanger the safety or comfort of persons frequenting the Commons.


14.           No person shall drive, ride, or pass over with any vehicle or upon horseback the parts of  the Commons temporarily enclosed for the revival of the turf, shrubs, trees, plants, or grass thereon, or  set  apart  for games or as a cricket ground; and no person shall play at any game, or skate or slide upon the parts so set apart, except at such times and under such regulations as the Conservators may from time to  time prescribe; and no person shall obstruct or interfere with or annoy any persons who are playing or have made preparations for playing at any lawful game, or who are skating or sliding upon the parts so enclosed or set apart.  And with regard to every other part of the Commons not so enclosed or set apart as aforesaid, no person shall play at any game thereon so near to any road as to endanger the safety of, or injure, alarm, or annoy any person, horse or other animal passing along such road.


15.           No unauthorised person shall play on the commons any game destructive of, or injurious to, the surface, soil, or natural products of the Commons, except in such places and under such regulations as the Conservators may from time to time prescribe.


16.           No unauthorised person shall injure the ice on any pond on the Commons, or place any stones, earth, or other substance on any such ice so as to render the same less suitable for skating or sliding.


17.           No unauthorised person shall dry or bleach clothes, or other articles, or beat carpets, upon the Commons, except in such places and under such regulations as the Conservators may from time to time prescribe.


18.           No unauthorised person shall fire any fire-arm, upon the Commons or throw any missile, or commit any other act so as to endanger any person on the Commons.


19.           No unauthorised person shall do, aid in, or abet any act or thing which may not in these Bye-laws be specifically mentioned, and which may tend to the injury or disfigurement of the Commons, or to interfere with the use thereof by the public for the purpose of exercise and recreation.


20.           Every person acting or taking any part in the violation of any of the foregoing Bye-laws shall, for every such offence, be liable to penalty not exceeding the sum of 5 sterling for each offence, and in case of a continuing  offence,  every  person so continuing such offence shall be liable to a further penalty not exceeding the sum of 40s sterling for each day, after conviction therefor, during which the offence continues; the Justices before whom any of the penalties aforesaid is or are sought to be recovered shall be at liberty in every case to order that part only of the said maximum penalty shall be paid.


21.           Nothing in these Bye-laws shall take away, abridge, or prejudicially affect any right, power or authority vested in the Conservators otherwise than by these Bye-laws, or in any authority legally existing, to prevent or punish the offences hereinbefore  specified.



                GIVEN   under our Corporate Seal this 14th day of December, One thousand eight hundred and ninety-three.


                Sealed with the Common Seal of the Conservators

in the presence of


                                Clerk to the Conservators


Confirmed by the Local Government Board this 18th day of April, 1894.

 HUGH OWEN                                                            G. SHAW LEFEVRE 

Secretary                                                                          President