Commonly Raised Issues

We believe that everyone should be able to enjoy open spaces and we campaign and fight to defend that right vigorously.


Heart & Soul

Take a look at some of our most commonly asked questions here.

Open spaces can be the heart and soul of local communities with people using them in all kinds of different ways.

Cyclists and walkers, horse riders and dog walkers all benefit from using the many paths that crisscross England and Wales.

Friends and neighbours often pursue their passion for their favourite game of cricket or an informal game of football on their village green.

Local residents of all ages enjoy picnics on their local stretch of open land or picking blackberries in the autumn, or simply sitting and enjoying the view.

This wealth of enjoyment underlines just how critical open spaces are to our well-being and way of life. But sometimes these different activities can cause conflict. Traffic, noise and litter caused by large events held on open spaces can cause annoyance to local residents. Disputes over who can and cannot use a public right of way can be unpleasant and distressing.

It is at moments like this that the Open Spaces Society can provide a much-needed objective view.

We help local individuals and communities come to an understanding on how best to share the open spaces that matter to them.

We encourage people to inform themselves of the do’s and dont’s of open space use before deciding to organise an event or activity that could cause problems for others or even damage the open space itself.

The old adage ‘forewarned is forearmed’ definitely comes into play here.

You can also always contact the Open Spaces for help and advice. You can contact us as follows:

Call us on 01491 573535 or email us at

Commons management course 2

We may ask you to become a member to help cover our costs.

If you love the great outdoors and enjoying full access to your favourite open spaces, footpaths, bridleways and cycle routes, you should consider joining the Open Spaces Society.

As a member, you will enjoy many benefits, including the support of our expert team based at our head office in Henley-on-Thames.

Depending on where you live, you may also have a local Open Spaces Society correspondent (our name for volunteer) who may be able to help you.