Latest News

The government’s betrayal on access—but it’s not too late

December 9, 2021

The society and other user groups have long campaigned for payments for access to be a part of the new, post-Brexit, environmental land management scheme (ELMS). We were dismayed when this was not included in the announcement on funding for the first level, the sustainable farming incentive (SFI). But the environment secretary, George Eustice, is…

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Give us back our green

December 3, 2021

We have called for the return to public use of Market Green[1] in Water Orton, Warwickshire which, we say, unlawfully has been closed off to recreational use. The owner of the land, Star Pubs and Bars Ltd,[2] has applied to the Secretary of State to remove the status of the land as town or village…

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OSS Footpath to west of Hope-under-Dinmore footpath HD4

Government ignores public access in new farm payments

December 2, 2021

Our general secretary, Kate Ashbrook, comments on the government’s lamentable failure to introduce public access into the new agricultural funding-regime. We are dismayed that the government’s new, post-Brexit, environmental land management scheme (ELMS), published on 2 December, fails to offer payments for public access and paths on farmland. This is despite repeated commitments from ministers,…

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Battlemead Common photo Maidenhead Civic Society

Important missing link in Millennium Walk created at Maidenhead

November 30, 2021

The Millennium Walk, a joint project of Maidenhead Civic Society and East Berks Ramblers, is a valuable trail as it links Hurley with Maidenhead Riverside, connecting with the Thames Path National Trail at both ends and opens up several pleasant circular walks. From Pinkneys Green it follows the Boundary Walk, a signed walk that follow…

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This Christmas, paths and open spaces matter – now more than ever

November 29, 2021

The Covid-19 pandemic, homeworking, the climate emergency, refugee crisis, and COP26 events in the past year have made for a challenging, harrowing but thought-provoking 12 months. Most of us have had cause to reflect on our lifestyles, values and priorities. Many will continue to look outside their homes or work-place to gain solace and conjure…

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Darvel Down green, Battle, East Sussex

We back bid for new greens in Battle, East Sussex

November 25, 2021

We are backing our member, Mr Bev Marks, who is spearheading a campaign to protect Battle’s green spaces for ever, by registering them as town or village greens. Bev has proposed to Battle Town Council that it persuade the owners of four green spaces voluntarily to register them as greens. The spaces have been earmarked…

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The Environment Act—a mixed bag

November 23, 2021

Our case officer, Nicola Hodgson, analyses the new Environment Act and finds it wanting. While we welcome the new Environment Act, we consider it to be a missed opportunity for public health and well-being. We tried to win legally-binding targets for public access but the government rejected our proposed amendments. The act gives many more…

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Flooded bridleway in the Piddle Valley, Dorset

Piddle Valley bridleway

November 18, 2021

In the Piddle Valley, north of Dorchester in Dorset, a 2.5-mile bridleway has been a historic link between the three villages of Piddletrenthide, White Lackington, and Piddlehinton. Today it is in a parlous state. The Piddle Path Action Team writes of its efforts to restore it. The bridleway today is in places impassable for much…

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The Hanwell fence being removed. Photo used with permission of CRT.

Access regained

November 18, 2021

Residents of Hanwell in Ealing, west London, have returned part of their park to public access. Our member Steven Toft tells the story. A fence was erected around a piece of the Brent River Park by the Hobbayne Trust (OS summer 2020 page 9) which claimed to own the land. The fence was partly removed…

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NEW Giving Green gift book bundles

November 2, 2021

We have partnered with Saraband, the Salford based award-winning independent publisher, as part of a Christmas fundraising initiative. The company represents authors who write about UK landscapes, wildlife, culture and folk traditions. Their titles cover fiction and non-fiction and have included a Booker Prize shortlist  entry, the Wainright Prize for nature writing and the Robert…

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