People living in both parishes of Bures, which lies partly in Essex and partly in Suffolk as it sits on the River Stour, are hoping to raise enough money to buy back the ancient patch of grassland in the heart of the village.
The common is currently owned by a developer who has decided to sell it and the village’s two parish councils have been given the opportunity to work together and purchase it.
A working group has been set up and in the past two weeks its members have quickly been promised pledges of about £70,000 – still some way short of the target. Leigh Alston, village historian and a lecturer at Cambridge University, said he hoped enough people would realise how valuable an asset the common could be and would support the bid to buy it back.
He has even secured the support of Cambridge colleague and former Time Team expert Carenza Lewis, who was in Bures yesterday along with pupils from the village primary school. They were able to explore the common, fenced-off for decades, for the first time.
Mr Alston said: “We’re about £20,000 short, but we have got three weeks left to raise the rest.