Latest News

Green spaces, open places

April 14, 2021

The Open Spaces Society’s call to candidates in the Senedd election, 6 May 2021. The pandemic has shown the importance of public paths and open spaces for recreation and relaxation, now is the time to invest in them for the health and well-being of the people of Wales. The Open Spaces Society[1] calls on candidates…

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Make London a more natural capital

April 13, 2021

The Open Spaces Society has joined 17 other environmental groups in urging the candidates in the London Mayoral election to back ‘A more natural capital’. The manifesto calls for support for our Charter for Open Spaces, and the dedication of green spaces as town or village greens. It advocates ten new district parks, and opposition…

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photo of Freemans Meadow (c) N Chadwick, Creative Commons Licence

Henley Town Council shows lead in creating village greens

April 8, 2021

‘Henley-on-Thames Town Council has set an excellent example in registering its land as village greens[1] and thus protecting it for ever.’  So declared Kate Ashbrook, the general secretary of the Open Spaces Society, in an online talk to Henley Rotary Club on Tuesday (2 March). ‘The council, which is a member of the society, has…

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Welsh Government agriculture law must step up for access

April 6, 2021

The Welsh Government’s consultation paper on the future funding for agriculture fails to spell out how subsidies will be directed to securing more and better access, and how grants will be withheld from land managers who abuse the law on public paths and access.  We argued for these objectives in our response to the earlier…

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Tony on Trawden recreation ground with Pendle Hill behind, Christmas day family meet-up outdoors, 2020

Tony Greaves (27 July 1942-23 March 2021)

April 6, 2021

We are deeply saddened that our vice-president, Tony (Lord) Greaves, has died suddenly at his home at Trawden in Lancashire. He was 78. Tony was a Liberal Democrat peer and Pendle Borough Councillor, who spoke out strongly on behalf of the environment and people’s rights. He entered the House of Lords as a life peer…

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Countryside Code’s seventieth anniversary

April 1, 2021

The Open Spaces Society’s involvement with the Countryside Code precedes its first publication, as the Country Code, in 1951. In fact, with the Ramblers, we instigated it. The society has always wanted to see greater access to the countryside and everyone to feel welcome there. In 1945 we noted that one of the difficulties we…

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Government’s missed opportunity to protect local open spaces

March 25, 2021

We are dismayed that the government proposes, in wholesale changes to the planning system, to undermine the protection afforded to green spaces. The society has raised these concerns in its response to the consultation from the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government on amendments to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).  The NPPF, among…

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Brent River Park summer 2020

Open Spaces Society delighted that Brent River Park, Ealing, is saved

March 25, 2021

We are delighted that Ealing Council’s planning committee on 17 March resolved to save Brent River Park.  It rejected Be:Here Ealing Ltd’s application to erect a massive leisure centre, six high-rise housing blocks and other development on the Gurnell Leisure Centre site next to the park. Although the council’s planning officer recommended conditional approval, the…

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Blackbushe airfield stays common land

March 18, 2021

The court of appeal has dismissed a move by Blackbushe Airport Ltd (BAL) to remove the airfield from the register of common land.[1]  The court refused to overturn the decision of the High Court that the land must remain registered as part of Yateley Common.  That decision was defended by Hampshire County Council and the…

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Looking north-west over the new green towards the RCV estate

More take than give

March 18, 2021

Our general secretary, Kate Ashbrook, considers the new threat to open spaces from the government’s proposed demolition of the planning system. Step by step our cherished planning system is being destroyed. Last year we slated the government’s white paper, Planning for the Future. Now government intends to extend permitted development rights. This would mean that…

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