Latest News

We slate commercial exploitation of London’s commons  

October 12, 2023

Commons and open spaces in London and across the country are under increased threat from commercial exploitation following a public inquiry decision [1] allowing a massive music festival event.  The Open Spaces Society deplores the decision by an inspector, appointed by the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, to permit the…

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Saving Blackwell parkland

October 9, 2023

A campaign is on to register Darlington’s 18-hectare historic parkland as a town green. Our members Michael and Angela Green of the Parkland Heritage Network tell the story. The historic Blackwell parkland, on the south side of Darlington, is the last of the town’s Georgian pleasure parks, dating back to the 1700s. It first appeared…

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Toughening up

October 9, 2023

Our general secretary, Kate Ashbrook, writes of the need to get tough in these times of austerity. In September I spoke to the Gower Society, as part of its 75th anniversary celebrations. The society played an important role in securing Gower as the first area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB) in 1956. And on its…

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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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