An incident like this and the splendid work done by
the Commons Preservation Society in fighting the enemies of commons suggest very strongly that the time has come for appointing a public officer whose business it shall be to keep his eye upon all open spaces and to protect public rights therein against all corners, whether public or private. It must never be forgotten that the chief enemy is not now the lord of the manor, but usually some public body which, for various reasons, good or bad, wants to get hold of a, piece of common land. Occasionally, though not often, it is necessary to yield to these demands, but we would make it an absolute rule that the total alea of public land should never be diminished. If a piece of common land is taken, an equivalent acreage must in all cases be bought as near to the piece taken as possible, and dedicated to public uses.