Latest News

Amenity groups deplore destruction of New Road Common, Kendal 

October 4, 2023

The Open Spaces Society and Friends of the Lake District have deplored the decision of a planning inspector to allow flood-defence works on New Road Common in the heart of Kendal in Cumbria (now Westmorland and Furness).  The application, made by the Environment Agency, followed hard on the heels of a damaging application for neighbouring…

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Could you be our next Trustee Director?

September 28, 2023

We’re looking for additional trustees to broaden our reach. Could this be the role for you? If you’re keen to develop strategy and policy for creating, defending and maintaining commons, greens, and paths, and to develop new approaches to make open spaces available to all, we’d love to hear from you. Our trustees work mainly…

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We help win the right result for Hamsterley Green, County Durham

September 28, 2023

We have welcomed a decision which will help protect Hamsterley village green, six miles west of Bishop Auckland in County Durham. Hamsterley Parish Council, the owner of the green, with the owners of Green View, a site to be developed for housing, had applied to the environment secretary for permission to deregister part of the…

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Celebrating the Gower Society’s 75th anniversary 

September 25, 2023

‘The Gower Society is a model for local campaigning.’  So said our general secretary, Kate Ashbrook, in a talk to celebrate the Gower Society’s 75th anniversary this year.    On its inception in 1948 the Gower Society joined the Open Spaces and they have shared similar aims of protecting common land, open spaces, and paths ever…

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New common at Bury Wood in Hertfordshire  

September 12, 2023

We welcome the decision of the Planning Inspectorate to grant our application to register as common land approximately 6.3 hectares of woodland near Hemel Hempstead in Hertfordshire.  The land, known as Bury Wood, is adjacent on its north boundary to Sheethanger Common, both of which are owned by the Box Moor Trust.   In 1968, application…

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Land at St Breward, Cornwall, registered as common  

September 12, 2023

The Planning Inspectorate has granted the society’s application to register as common land approximately 1.25 hectares of waste in St Breward parish, Cornwall.  The land is situated about a kilometre north-east of the village of St Breward and is sandwiched between two parcels of existing registered common land.  The land comprises ferns, bushy undergrowth and…

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We free Cornish footpath from illegal obstruction

August 31, 2023

Through threat of legal action, we have achieved the removal of several illegal obstructions on a public footpath at St Ervan, three miles south-west of Padstow.  Lucy Wilson, our local correspondent for North Cornwall, threatened to go to court for the removal of two unlawful gates on St Ervan footpath 16, south of Treglinnick Farm. …

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We win recorded route in East Sussex 

August 18, 2023

We are celebrating the addition of a 2.3-kilometre restricted byway to the official map of public paths in East Sussex.  The route was claimed, based on historical evidence, by our local correspondent for Lewes, Chris Smith.    The path runs from Robin Post Lane in the north (to the west of the A27 between Hailsham and…

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Norfolk campaigner wins our prestigious Eversley Award 

August 16, 2023

Ian Witham, of Edingthorpe, ten miles south-east of Cromer in Norfolk, is the third-ever winner of our rarely-presented Eversley Award for Outstanding Personal Endeavour.   The award is named after Lord Eversley, the distinguished founder of the society in 1865, and for many years its president and chairman.  It is presented occasionally by the trustees to…

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Substandard plans for Chailey substations spark Defra refusal

August 8, 2023

We are delighted that an inspector has refused permission for a utility company to place new electricity substations on conspicuous sites on the Chailey Commons in East Sussex. UK Power Networks (UKPN) had applied to the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for consent to place two substations on the commons—one…

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