Saving Open Spaces – Introduction and Contents

An Introduction to Saving Open Spaces

The Open Spaces Society, Britains's oldest national conservation body, celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2015. Founded in 1865 as the Commons Preservation Society, its early battles were to save commons in and around London from enclosure and encroachment. Its victories include Hampstead Heath, Wimbledon Common and Epping Forest. In 1895 it founded the National Trust.

The society soon expanded its remit to cover the whole of England and Wales, and to embrace all types of open spaces and paths.

This book charts the society's activities through the years - one of the most socially-vital campaigns of the last century and a half. Writer and nautralist, Richard Mabey, a former vice-president of the society, has written the foreword.

Says Kate Ashbrook, author and general secretary of the society for more than 35 years: 'The society is needed now more than ever as it fights a multitude of threats to open spaces and paths'. The book explains why.


    • Campaigning for commons, green spaces and paths 1865-2015
    • Foreword
    • Catalyst for the Commons Preservation Society
    • Campaigning for commons and commoners
    • The society's baby
    • More space to enjoy
    • Preserving public paths
    • The trespass saga
    • A new law for the post-war era
    • The last reserve of uncommitted land
    • Commons registration
    • A new deal for commons
    • Action all fronts
    • Managing the commons
    • The threat to greens
    • The future
OSS Saving Open Spaces cover