Archive for November 2021

We back bid for new greens in Battle, East Sussex

Darvel Down green, Battle, East Sussex

We are backing our member, Mr Bev Marks, who is spearheading a campaign to protect Battle’s green spaces for ever, by registering them as town or village greens. Bev has proposed to Battle Town Council that it persuade the owners of four green spaces voluntarily to register them as greens. The spaces have been earmarked…

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The Environment Act—a mixed bag

Our case officer, Nicola Hodgson, analyses the new Environment Act and finds it wanting. While we welcome the new Environment Act, we consider it to be a missed opportunity for public health and well-being. We tried to win legally-binding targets for public access but the government rejected our proposed amendments. The act gives many more…

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People power

Downs for People celebrate their victory

So often success depends on the power of people coming together, writes our general secretary, Kate Ashbrook. Whether they are saving Bristol’s downs from car-parking, protecting London’s commons from commercial exploitation, or winning access to Worthing’s hinterland, the campaigning clout of local people is fundamental. And it always has been—witness the mass trespasses on Bolton’s…

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Book reviews autumn 2021

Police on Wanstead Flats July 1871. Credit Essex Field Club

James Chuter Ede by Stephen Hart (Pen & Sword £25 hardback, 354 pages). They don’t make politicians like Chuter Ede (1882-1965) any more. He came from a nonconformist (Unitarian) background and began in active politics as a Liberal. He joined the Labour Party towards the end of WWI in his mid-thirties, having served as a…

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Piddle Valley bridleway

Flooded bridleway in the Piddle Valley, Dorset

In the Piddle Valley, north of Dorchester in Dorset, a 2.5-mile bridleway has been a historic link between the three villages of Piddletrenthide, White Lackington, and Piddlehinton. Today it is in a parlous state. The Piddle Path Action Team writes of its efforts to restore it. The bridleway today is in places impassable for much…

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Much ado about nothing

The non-highway land (where the car is parked). Photo: Brian Keates

Our Coventry local correspondent John Hall, with assistance from one of our case officers, Hugh Craddock, exposes the sloppy approach to rights-of-way matters by the National Transport Casework Team (NTCT), and persuades it to put things right. In March, the NTCT proposed to make two orders under section 247 of the Town and Country Planning…

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Commercial commons

Local authorities in south London, keen on exploiting their commons and open spaces, are facing stiff opposition from local campaigners, writes our local correspondent for Lambeth and Wandsworth, Jeremy Clyne. Clapham Common has become a battleground because of Lambeth Council’s misuse of a large area, known as the ‘events site’. This is closed to the…

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John Collett Emery, 1930-2020

Our member John Emery has died aged 90. He has left us a generous gift of £10,000. His nephew, Lewis Turner, writes of his life. John, the youngest of three children, was born and grew up in the village of Garn-yr-erw near the industrial town of Blaenavon in Torfaen. The rugged mountains surrounding his home…

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