Saving Open Spaces – Campaigning for Commons, Green Spaces and Paths

Campaigning for Commons, Green Spaces and Paths

1865 - 2015


1235    Statute of Merton, allowing the inclosure of commons provided there is land left for commoners

1539    Law prevents inclosure of commons within three miles of London

1845    General Inclosure Act, formalising the provision of compensatory land when common inclosed

1865    Commons Preservation Society is founded

1866    Metropolitan Commons Act

1882    Epping Forest opens as a public park

1895    Foundation of National Trust

1899    Society becomes Commons and Footpaths Preservation Society

1905    Judge in Stonehenge case rules there is no right to roam

1927    Society becomes Commons, Open Spaces and Footpaths Preservation Society

1932    Rights of Way Act

1939    Access to Mountains Act

1949    National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act

1951    Country code is published

1958    Report of Royal Commission on Common Land

1965    Commons Registration Act

1978    Society moves out of London, to Henley-on-Thames

1982    Society shortens name to Open Spaces Society

1983    Society’s conference sparks formation of Common Land Forum

1985    Society formalises its local correspondents

1986    Common Land Forum report, recommends legislation

2000    Countryside and Rights of Way Act

2006    Commons Act

2010    Society publishes Finding Common Ground

2013    Growth and Infrastructure Act blights village greens

2015    Society celebrates its 150th anniversary


The cover of the 1951 Country Code
The cover of the 1951 Country Code