Page:Our Common Land (and other short essays).djvu/213

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THE FUTURE OF OUR COMMONS.

the case of rural commons) to watch each scheme that may be brought forward, and thus to let Parliament see that the matter is one about which the Nation cares. The schemes previously referred to, relating to commons at Barnes, Mitcham, and Hampstead, were only defeated by strenuous public opposition. Under these schemes it was actually proposed to take four acres of Barnes Common for a sewage farm, and to widen the railway that crosses it by additional sidings and coal depots; to cut up Mitcham Common with additional lines of railway, and to take 100 acres of it for sewage purposes, and to surround and partly undermine Hampstead Heath with a railway provided with three or four stations situated on some of its prettiest spots!

One other point bearing on the question of metropolitan commons may be noted here. Whenever the question of their inclosure has come up before the courts of law to be tried, it has been hitherto found that the rights of