Page:Our Common Land (and other short essays).djvu/199

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
187
THE FUTURE OF OUR COMMONS.

closure under these schemes, and they will form the precedent for dealing with others in the future. They will come before Parliament; but the evidence in each case is heard only by a small committee; and there are but few outside that committee who will notice or care anything about each scheme as it successively comes forward. And yet, if the schemes are all carried out, England will have next year from this cause alone thirty-seven fewer open spaces than she has hitherto possessed. A great deal of this land might be saved if public attention were aroused, and aroused in time. On the next two or three years the fate of our commons will mainly depend. For seven years past, pending legislation, it has been possible to resist all schemes for inclosure; but since the passing of the Act of 1876 postponement of action is no longer possible, and each scheme must be dealt with immediately, and on its own merits.

There is danger lest, as the schemes may