Archive for October 2012

Unlawful fence across Brecon Beacons—gone at last

The Open Spaces Society, Ramblers Cymru and other organisations are delighted that a four-and-a-half-mile fence, the ‘Gap Road’ fence, across the fine open landscape of the Brecon Beacons National Park, has been removed after a six-year campaign. The fence, which crossed common land, was unlawful because it did not have the Welsh Government’s consent.  It…

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We fight threat to Chiltern landscape

We have objected to a private equestrian-development in the lovely Skirmett valley, in the heart of the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Buckinghamshire. The society has sent an objection to Wycombe District Council. The plan is to demolish the buildings at Stud Farm (now pointlessly renamed Valentine Farm) and replace them with an…

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Call to save England’s commons

The newly-formed Common Land Coalition of 16 diverse countryside bodies* has called on environment minister Richard Benyon urgently to implement the law to update England’s registers of common land.  They have written to the minister, and a letter is published in The Times today (Saturday 27 October). Common land is suffering because there is no…

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Crystal Palace campaigners fight on

The Crystal Palace Community Association (CPCA) is pursuing its fight through the courts to save the unique, Bromley Council owned, Crystal Palace Park from commercial development. The Open Spaces Society, of which CPCA is a member, has backed the association in its fight. The CPCA has been granted leave to appeal against the High Court’s…

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Growth and Infrastructure Bill: threat to greens

The Growth and Infrastructure Bill clause 13 will make it more difficult, if not downright impossible, to register land as a town or village green once it has been identified for development. The Bill says that a ‘trigger event’—which includes first publication of a planning application or identification of the land for potential development in…

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Government rides roughshod over rights of local people

The Growth and Infrastructure Bill has today been introduced in the House of Commons. Says Kate Ashbrook, our general secretary, ‘It contains damaging measures which will severely restrict the opportunity for local people to register rights they have established over a twenty year period (1), where they have used land for recreation, and to have…

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Our five-point action-plan to save commons from encroachment

We have today (17 October) set out our action plan for dealing with unlawful encroachments on common land. Our general secretary, Kate Ashbrook, is speaking at the annual meeting of the Association of Commons Registration Authorities in Birmingham. Says Kate: ‘Common land is at risk from being eaten away by encroachment. Too often adjoining property-owners…

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Cramber Tor controversy

We have objected strongly to the application from the Ministry of Defence for the continuation of ‘dry training’ (ie not live firing) at Cramber Tor on south-west Dartmoor, for an indefinite period. We consider that the application conflicts with the statutory purposes of national parks and with the Dartmoor National Park Authority’s policies, particularly its…

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Slow down! It’s a common!

This article was published on the Headline Environment website, On the Agenda, 12 October 2012. Responding to a recent Department of Transport consultation, Kate Ashbrook explains why the Open Spaces Society has advocated a 40mph limit on all roads through commons and how this is an important step in maintaining the open and unenclosed nature…

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Common land: a manifesto for horse-riders

We shall today propose a manifesto for horse-riders on common land. Our case officer, Nicola Hodgson, is speaking at the British Horse Society’s National Access Conference at Stoneleigh. Says Nicola: ‘Common land is immensely important for recreational horse-riding. It provides extensive areas of open country where people can ride safely, in wonderful landscapes which have…

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