Under the Dartmoor Commonersí Council Regulations commoners are legally required to remove their sheep from the common in the autumn for a given period of time. They are gathered into the farmstead so that the animals can be treated for parasites and disease.
As rams are prohibited from the commons, the ewes are often mated at this time before they are turned back onto the common to produce lambs in the following spring. This explains why the use of the common is so closely tied to the farms and fields adjacent to it.
Dartmoor Commoners' Council, 1 Canal Road, Tavistock, Devon, PL19 8AR Tel: 01822 618892