The Common was an area of heathland where, in centuries past, villagers could graze their cattle, but over the last century or so, birch trees have overrun many areas, so that much of the Common is in tree cover.
In the middle of Lindow Common lies the Black Lake. The Welsh for Black Lake is llyn ddu which is where the name Lindow is derived. The name Lindow is also used for one of the historic parishes of Wilmslow, and of the adjacent Lindow Moss, much of which is covered in an ancient peat bog. It was at Lindow Moss that a bog body, Lindow Man, was discovered in 1983. Lindow Man is now on display at the British Museum.
Lindow Common is managed by Macclesfield Borough Council's Countryside and Ranger Service.
Current work at Lindow Common is aiming to start selective removal of birch trees, in order to promote regrowth of heather (Calluna vulgaris) to return the area to heathland. This is one of only two sites in Cheshire which has areas of lowland wet heath.
A racecourse once existed around the outskirts of the Common. The racecourse is no longer there, but the road around the perimeter is called Racecourse Road.