Latest News

Slow the traffic on unfenced commons

February 25, 2020

‘Minchinhampton and Rodborough Commons on the Cotswold escarpment in Gloucestershire are unique—and we need to slow the traffic there.’  So declared Kate Ashbrook, our general secretary,  at a public meeting called by the Minchinhampton and Rodborough Commons Advisory Committee last week (20 February). ‘All common land is special because it is a remnant of the…

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Lancaster green space saved for the community

February 24, 2020

We are delighted that Lancashire County Council has agreed to register Freeman’s Wood as a town green, thus saving it from development. The nine-hectare site is an open field surrounded by woodland next to the Lune industrial estate on the west side of Lancaster. Originally a waste tip for the former linoleum factory, it has…

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Open Spaces Society to advise Welsh Access Reform Group

January 28, 2020

The Welsh Government is looking at the future of access in Wales, following the consultation in 2017 and the subsequent announcement that it would set up an Access Reform Group. It has also established three expert groups to inform the Access Reform Group and invited expressions of interest. We are delighted to report that the…

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Paul Clayden, 5 November 1941 – 1 January 2020

January 28, 2020

We are very sad to report that our vice-president, Paul Clayden, died suddenly aged 78 on new year’s day.  A former general secretary of the society (1976-84) he was the author of many of our books and information sheets, and a kind and helpful adviser to members on their open space issues. Paul was born…

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Kingsmead Field, Canterbury, is made a village green

January 23, 2020

Canterbury City Council has dedicated three acres of Kingsmead Field in Kent as a village green. Kent County Council approved the registration last month. Now that the land is registered it is protected from development and local people have rights of recreation here. Canterbury City Council agreed to dedicate the land in return for a…

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Is your DMMO application eligible for a BHS grant?

January 22, 2020

Are you engaged in researching historical ways to add to the definitive map before the 2026 cut-off date? The British Horse Society (BHS) is offering a bounty of £100 to anyone who applies to a local authority to record a bridleway, restricted byway or byway open to all traffic — or to upgrade a footpath…

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We back campaign for access to water

January 21, 2020

The society is backing the Clear Access, Clear Waters campaign by British Canoeing, to increase the public’s opportunities to gain access to water. The campaign aligns with the society’s objectives of promoting public enjoyment of rivers, canals and lakes, whether in or on the water or providing access to it. British Canoeing is campaigning for…

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Our general secretary wins bronze award

January 16, 2020

Our general secretary, Kate Ashbrook, has won bronze in The Great Outdoors magazine’s Campaigner of the Year Award, following a vote from members of the public. Described by one voter as ‘inspirational in her constant drive to keep footpaths open’, Kate came third to environmental campaigners Greta Thunberg and Chris Packham. Says Kate: ‘I am…

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Farndon Fields public bridleway blocked

We deplore Leicestershire County Council’s failure to protect public bridleway near Market Harborough

December 30, 2019

We are deeply concerned about the failure of Leicestershire County Council to protect public bridleway A105, at Farndon Fields to the west of Market Harborough, from development. The society has been supporting its local member Peter Pollak in his effort to get the route reopened. Harborough District Council, gave planning consent to Avant Homes to…

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We help to stop quarry extension on West Yorkshire common

December 17, 2019

Consent has been refused for the enclosure and quarrying of 1.25 hectares of common land near Haworth in the Bradford district of West Yorkshire. The application was made by The Mineral Planning Group, under section 38 of the Commons Act 2006 for consent for works on common land.  Such consent is needed in addition to…

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