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A Living Heritage

The Full Story

The St Albans Common is a piece of living heritage owned, treasured and cared for by the Commoners of the MacDonald Valley under the guidance and management of the St Albans Common Trust.

The Common Herdspeople ride the Common regularly to check on stock, pasture, fences, any damage to flora or fauna and current conditions. The Common Herdspeople live in the Common House which is at the entrance to the Common at the St Albans Village end.


The Common exists under a Grant – which clearly sets out its principal purpose being the grazing of stock. The Trust manages the Common lands in line with the Grant and so public access to Common lands and waters is not permitted for the welfare of grazing stock and ongoing land care.


Musters are held four times a year or as needs be to enable Commoners to maintain the health of their stock and to remove or add to their herd.

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Commoners pay annual dues to the Trust which enables them to graze stock for an additional fee and to leave the road and leisurely enjoy the natural beauty of the Common landscape. People who are not Commoners may not leave the road running through the Common on foot or in a vehicle except in the company of a Commoner or to access other privately held properties bordering the Common. Boundary fences are maintained in good order by the owners and the Trust sharing the cost.


Commoners may walk their dogs on the Common on a leash but otherwise dogs are not allowed on the Common as they can be a threat to stock. Commoners may ride horses on the Common in a safe manner. All consideration and care is taken of wildlife in balance with continuing secure and safe grazing pasture management.


The Common has a lake which is essentially left in its natural state. Kayaking by Commoners is not encouraged for safety and risk reasons. Access to the lake for fishing is centred around an annual fishing competition which focuses on catching carp and keeping the lake in good condition.

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