VILLAGERS celebrated the purchasing of Bures Common on Saturday evening.
Around 100 residents turned up to see the grand reopening of the land in the centre of the village, which was purchased at a cost of £87,500 in order to secure it for the free use of villagers and prevent developers buying the site.
Entertainment was provided by medieval music group Wylde Noyse and local re-enactment enthusiast Sir Robert de Bures.
Leigh Alston, chairman of the Bures Common Committee and a local historian, helped to raise the donations to buy the land.
He said: “It was a stunning day and the weather was just perfect for us.
“We had more than 100 people with picnics having a fantastic time, which was the idea behind buying the common in the first place.”
Former landowner James Waterson had said the village could buy the land if it matched the highest commercial bid.
A working party managed to secure enough donations to do so, while also gaining a £10,000 grant from Essex County Council’s Big Society fund. This money will go towards paying solicitors’ fees and restoring the 19th century barn situated on the common.
The land is now permanently open to the public, with fishing reserved for Bures residents.