Common Sense

The Common is a fragile environment and needs to be respected. Unfortunately, the common faces high levels of anti-social behavior issues from a minority of people within our communities. This is having a harmful impact on the Common.

You can help protect the Common by following these simple rules:

Driving on Common land

It is illegal to drive on common land without the landowners permission.

Illegal off roading causes erosion, disturbs wildlife and can result in injury to grazing animals.

This offence is enforceable by the Police either with the issue of a fine or the confiscation of the motor vehicle.

Illegal off roading involving motorbikes, quadbikes and 4x4s should be reported to the Police by phoning 101.

Fly Grazing and abandonment of horses and ponies

Only those with legal ‘rights’ can graze animals on the Common.

Please don’t feed the animals on the Common as this encourages them to the roadside, putting you and them in danger.

Don’t interfere with, or try to help animals even if you think they are in distress. Injured or distressed animals should be reported to:

  • Caerphilly CBC – 01443 815558 (working hours) or 01443 875500(out of hours emergency)
  • Merthyr CBC – 01685 725000 (working hours or 01685 385231 (out of hours emergency)
  • RSPCA Call Centre: 0300 1234 999


As the Common is deemed as open access land, dogs are required to be on a short lead from 1st March to 31st July to protect ground nesting birds and at any other time around livestock.

Dog mess should be bagged and binned, as dogs can unwittingly carry the parasite Neospora which can harm pregnant cows.

Please be a responsible dog owner.


The are many roads crossing the Common. As it is predominantly unfenced, grazing animals roam free.

Drivers should always be vigilant and drive slowly.


This not only looks unsightly but causes significant harm to wildlife, grazing animals, members of the public and farmers. It is also a criminal offence.

If you pay someone to remove your rubbish without making the relevant checks, it could be fly-tipped.

You could also receive a £300 Fixed Penalty Notice or criminal record. More information about your Duty of Care as a householder can be found on

  • If you live in Caerphilly County Borough, information and locations about household waste recycling centres can be found here.
  • If you live in Merthyr County Borough, information and locations about household waste recycling centres can be found here.


As with fly tipping, roadside litter is unsightly and causes harm to wildlife and grazing animals.

Please disposal of your waste responsibly.

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.

Arson and Wildfires

Although controlled burning can be a useful tool in managing the landscape this should only be undertaken by skilled people under carefully controlled conditions, with the support of the Fire Service.

Deliberate fires, on the other hand, get out of control very quickly and destroy vast areas of common land and wildlife.

Water run off from a burnt area is highly toxic and often enters streams and rivers. Heavy rain falling on burnt areas often causes erosion and increases the likelihood of flooding.

All fires should be reported by phoning 999 as soon as possible.

Heritage Crime

Heritage crime is any offence that targets the historic environment such as archaeological sites, churches, castles etc.

This covers a wide variety of criminal activity, the effects of which could result in the damage or loss of heritage assets forever.

These activities can include criminal damage, arson, unauthorised excavation, illegal metal detecting (known as ‘night-hawking) or damage by vehicles.

The Common is blessed in having a rich history and has many Scheduled and Unscheduled Monuments.

Please help us protect these important assets for future generations by reporting all heritage crime incidents to the Police on 101.