We reject power grab for electric bikes

We have criticised government plans to double electric bikes’ power ratings. Responding to a consultation by the Department for Transport,[1] we say that the proposals to enable higher-powered electrically-assisted pedal bicycles (EAPCs) on Britain’s highways are inappropriate and potentially harmful to users of the public rights of way network in England and Wales. Says our…

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Forty fighting years

Today (2 April) Kate Ashbrook celebrates the fortieth anniversary of her appointment as our general secretary. She is the longest-serving chief executive officer among bodies dedicated to the amenities and freedom of the countryside.  In her time in office—an attic in Henley-on-Thames—she has worked for and welcomed remarkable changes in the safeguarding of commons, greens,…

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Don’t kill Kilvey Hill 

This was our message to Swansea Council at a rally on Sunday (24 March).  Kate Ashbrook, our general secretary, joined more than 300 local people on top of Kilvey Hill, north-east of Swansea at a rally against plans by Skyline Swansea Ltd for a vast tourist development, which includes a restaurant and visitor centre, skyswing,…

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Urban green space report misses trick  

We have welcomed the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee’s letter to the Defra secretary, Stephen Barclay, with its findings on its inquiry into urban green spaces.  The committee concluded that ‘these vital parts of communities are under serious threat’ and in need of urgent action to reverse their national decline, despite their immense environmental…

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Coastal land in Cornwall registered as common 

We welcome Cornwall Council’s decision to grant two applications to register common land on the north coast of Cornwall. One of the applications was made by the society and the other by Tomas Hill who has a keen interest in common land.  The land, which is owned by the National Trust, comprises just over 170…

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Land restored as common on Dartmoor 

We welcome the Planning Inspectorate’s decision to grant the society’s two applications to register as common three parcels of rough grassland near Blackdown Common, Mary Tavy, in the Dartmoor National Park.  Two of the parcels are adjacent to each other, east and south of Willsworthy car park.  Together, these amount to about 33 hectares.  The…

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Path-block shock

In January, the BBC revealed the shocking results of its survey on the state of public paths in England and Wales.  Our general secretary, Kate Ashbrook, comments on these findings. Paths, it showed, are blocked at 32,000 points, that is one obstruction every four and a half miles—and the problems are growing. Seventy three of…

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The disposal of open space on Swansea’s Kilvey Hill

Swansea Council advertised notice of disposal of open space on Kilvey Hill, under section 123(2A) of the Local Government Act 1972, in anticipation of the council granting planning permission for the massive Skyline leisure development on the hill.  The Open Spaces Society was among many objectors, arguing that the disposal was contrary to the council’s…

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