Before the recent tree felling began this was probably the first time for hundreds of years that the Commons have been anything approaching a natural landscape. Originally it is likely that trees were felled to create grazing land - hence the term Commons. From the mid 19th century the area was mined for gannister and coal. Wood (presumably from the trees then growing there) was used as a power source.
“ On 3rd November 1913 Fanny Phillips and Mary Jane Phillips of Harrogate in York and Henrietta Harrison of Boroughbridge made a gift of land totalling 75 acres 2 roods and 18 perches. The gift was made to the citizens of Sheffield to be held in trust ‘for the perpetual use and enjoyment of the public’. This area we know as Wadsley and Loxley Commons.” (The future of Wadsley and Loxley Commons, Management Action Plan version 4.0)
If you wish to know more about the history of the Commons you might like to read:
"The Forgotten Mines Of Sheffield" by Ray Battye
This and a wide selection of other local history books are available from Loxley Post Office.
Since the mines closed down parts of the Commons have been used variously as sports fields, a shooting range and for sandstone quarrying.