Archive for March 2011

Dorset’s Blackdown Woods saved for the nation

We joined the celebrations on Saturday 26 March at Portesham village hall, near Dorchester in Dorset, for the handover of Blackdown Woods from the Forestry Commission to Dorset County Council. The 117 hectares of woodland surround the Hardy monument (‘Kiss me Hardy’ of Trafalgar fame) on the Dorset Ridgeway in the Dorset Area of Outstanding…

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Herefordshire hilltop under threat

We have objected to plans by Bolsterstone Innovative Energy Ltd to deface the unspoilt Stonewall Hill (also known as Reeves Hill) in Herefordshire with four wind-turbines and associated development. The hill is between the towns of Knighton and Presteigne, and is close to the Powys border, so we have written to both Herefordshire and Powys…

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Our new chairman

Tim Crowther from Weybridge in Surrey is our new chairman. For the past 12 years Tim has been an active member of Elmbridge Borough Council. Prior to retirement he worked for a government property agency. He became a member of the Open Spaces Society over 25 years ago. A lifelong walker, Tim has completed many…

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BBC Radio Oxford interview

On Sunday 6 February our general secretary had an hour-long interview with Bill Heine on BBC Radio Oxford. She chatted about public paths, forestry privatisation, village greens, common land and campaigning. You can listen to it here: BBC Radio Oxford interview.

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We’re not out of the woods yet

‘While today we can celebrate the government’s abandonment of plans to flog off England’s public forest estate, we are not out of the woods yet. There is still a campaign to be fought.’ So said Kate Ashbrook, our general secretary at a well-attended rally in Friston Forest, in the South Downs National Park (between Eastbourne…

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Plan to privatise public path at Cox Green

We have objected to a plan by Windsor & Maidenhead Council to close a footpath between Culley Way and Farmers Close in Cox Green. The council is recommending to its Alley Gating Panel on Tuesday 22 March that the path should be gated because of crime and anti-social behaviour in the area. The Berkshire Ramblers…

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Message from India

In January 2011 the Open Spaces Society’s general secretary, Kate Ashbrook, attended the global conference of the International Association for the Study of the Commons (IASC) in Hyderabad.  She was the guest of IASC and of the co-host, the Indian Foundation for Ecological Security.  She gives a snapshot of her eight days in India here.

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Forestry panel needs horse-riders and cyclists too

While welcoming the establishment of the independent panel on forestry policy in England (read more here), we have pointed out that its recreational representation is too limited. Says Kate Ashbrook, our general secretary: ‘While we are pleased that Tom Franklin of the Ramblers is included on the panel, we consider the omission of organisations representing…

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Plans withdrawn for 20 wind-turbines in beauty-spot

Community Windpower Ltd has withdrawn its appeal to the Planning Inspectorate to erect 20 wind-turbines on hilltop common land in Lancashire. The withdrawal coincides with the publication of proposals from Natural England that much of the Lune Valley is likely to become a National Park, thus confirming it as among our finest treasures. The 126-metre…

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Honiton green space saved for the community

Campaigners from Honiton in East Devon are delighted that Littletown Green has been registered as a village green.  The four-acre field has been enjoyed by local people for informal recreation for decades.  With support from us, Rosemary Kimbell (a member of the society), her husband Alan and neighbours Mike Allen and Andy Cox gathered evidence…

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