Page:Our Common Land (and other short essays).djvu/201

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189
THE FUTURE OF OUR COMMONS.

and thus the town approaches the commons which once were rural. Increased facilities of swift and inexpensive travelling, and the opening of new lines of railway, make many a common once out of reach of the dwellers in town practically easy of access.

And there is a reason why even, the still more distant rural commons should if possible be saved from inclosure. Every year, in many country neighbourhoods, population is increasing, and houses for letting are being built; more and more the field-paths by the river-side are being closed, and the walks through the cornfields or bright upland meadows are being shut. The hedge through the many gaps of which it was easy once to step into the roadside-wood and to gather primroses in thousands is now stoutly repaired, and new boards are put up warning trespassers that they "will be prosecuted." In self-defence the landowners erect barriers and warn off the public wherever that public becomes numerous.