Archive for June 2021

Hampstead Heath’s milestone Act of Parliament

Hampstead Heath in summer

Today, 29 June, is the 150th anniversary of the Hampstead Heath Act 1871, which empowered the Metropolitan Board of Works (MBW) to purchase the Heath for the people.  Now the Heath belongs to the City of London Corporation and is managed for the benefit of the public. We are proud to have played a major…

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Government’s response to Glover Review is lacklustre

The Open Spaces Society is disappointed at the government’s initial response to the Glover Review on England’s protected landscapes.  This response is long overdue. The report, written by a panel led by Julian Glover, contains ambitious proposals.  It was published in September 2019 and the then environment secretary, Theresa Villiers, welcomed the findings.  Today the…

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We fight ugly mast on Pumlumon common

Illustrative photo of the mast from the developer’s design and access statement

We have objected to plans for an ugly mast on Eisteddfa Gurig Common, on the slopes of Pumlumon in Ceredigion. The society is supporting the Cambrian Mountains Society (CMS) which has also submitted a strong objection. Lluest y Gwynt Wind Farm Ltd applied for an 80-metre-high, steel, meteorological monitoring mast and associated paraphernalia, for three…

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Book reviews – summer 2021

Heathland, by Clive Chatters (Bloomsbury, 2021, hardback and Kindle, both £35, but with good deals available). This is the latest edition in the British Wildlife Collection. In accordance with the exacting standards of this series, it is beautifully designed, uncluttered and attractively laid out, and with many hundreds of colourful images interspersed throughout. Despite the…

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Planning to grant a green?

Grant a Green On 26 April we launched our Grant a Green campaign, calling on local councils in England and Wales voluntarily to register their open spaces as town or village greens. Registration will give local people rights of recreation on the land and protect it from development. Now is the time to secure our…

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Defra undermined

Our general secretary, Kate Ashbrook, comments on the environment secretary’s recent announcements. The environment secretary George Eustice was on a high with his big announcements from Delamere Forest in Cheshire on 18 May. He grandly promised ‘to halt the decline of nature’ with a ‘legally-binding’ target for species abundance (to be defined) by 2030, restoration…

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Patricia’s heroic hike

Patricia approaches her apogee, Lyme Cage. Image John Rogers

Schoolgirl Patricia Wittbom chose to raise money for the society by a challenge walk. She tells her story. My name is Patricia Wittbom, I’m 11 years old and I am in year 7 at Tytherington School, Macclesfield, Cheshire. During the last year of covid lockdown I was lucky to be able to go out each…

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Old allies rekindle the campaign for national parks

With a government announcement on the review of England’s protected landscapes imminent, our general secretary Kate Ashbrook reflects on the seventieth anniversary of national parks and the work still to be done. Two years ago, I enjoyed a wonderful day in the Peak District—a place I love and to which I long to return once…

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