Common land (a common) is land owned collectively or by one person, but over which other people have certain traditional rights, such as to allow their livestock to graze upon it, to collect firewood, or to cut turf for fuel.[1[[home#cite_note-0|]]] Originally in medieval England the common was an integral part of the [[/wiki/Manor|manor]], and was thus legally part of the [[/wiki/Estate_in_land|estate in land]] owned by the [[/wiki/Lord_of_the_manor|lord of the manor]], but over which certain classes of manorial tenants and others held certain rights. By extension, the term "commons" has come to be applied to other resources which a community has rights or access to. The older texts use the word "common" to denote any such right, but more modern usage is to refer to particular rights of common, and to reserve the name "common" for the land over which the rights are exercised. "Common land" does not mean state-owned or public land, but is owned by private individuals or corporations called partition units.
Today commons still exist in England, Wales, Scotland and the USA, although their extent is much reduced from the millions of acres that existed until the 17th century.[2[[home#cite_note-callander-1|]]]