Latest News

End the scandal of secret paths

June 1, 2019

Fifty years on from the Countryside Act 1968, which required local authorities to signpost a public path where it leaves a road, many paths still lack signposts. We are calling for an end to this scandal. Join Open Spaces Society and add your voice to our ongoing battle. The society and the Ramblers were responsible…

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New Push To Find Lost Commons

March 5, 2019

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Frances Kerner from Buckinghamshire as our Commons Re-registration Officer. Frances will be researching lost commons which are eligible for registration as common land under part 1 of the Commons Act 2006. Under Part 1, there is a new opportunity to register lost commons which were provisionally…

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25-Year Environment Plan Evasive About People’s Enjoyment Of The Outdoors

January 23, 2019

We have criticised the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) for being vague about how it will measure its success in encouraging people to benefit from the natural environment. The society has responded to Defra’s consultation on measuring environmental change through its 25-year environment plan which was published in January 2018. In the…

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Call For Speed Limits On Common Land

January 3, 2019

We have called for enforced speed-limits on unfenced roads across common land in national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty. We made this plea in our evidence to the government’s review of England’s national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty (AONBs), led by Julian Glover. The society emphasises the need to slow traffic…

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Seventieth Anniversary Of ‘A People’s Charter’

January 1, 2019

This year we celebrate the seventieth anniversary of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949.  Our general secretary Kate Ashbrook, explains what it achieved. This is not just a Bill.  It is a people’s charter—a people’s charter for the open air, for the hikers and the ramblers, for everyone who lives to…

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Beef Up The Bill

November 1, 2018

In her Opinion article in the autumn issue of Open Space magazine, our general secretary, Kate Ashbrook, writes about the Agriculture Bill. Last summer the Dartmoor Society (a voluntary body) hosted a visit to Gidleigh Common on north-east Dartmoor.  Those present were shocked to see the land there smothered in purple moor-grass and gorse, where once there had been…

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Round Two In The Battle To Save The Warcop Commons In Cumbria From The Military

October 29, 2018

On Tuesday 30 October we resume our opposition to the applications of the Secretary of State for Defence to deregister the extensive Warcop commons(1). The applications, if granted, would cause Burton, Hilton and Murton Fells, in the Cumbrian North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, to cease to be common land after centuries—perhaps even a…

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Fight to stop major development at Harrow School

October 3, 2018

We have objected to Harrow School’s appeal against the refusal of planning permission for a new science building and sports hall. The society, which is concerned to protect public paths and open spaces, considers that the development would have a significant impact on Metropolitan Open Land and the attractive, historic landscape of the area, as…

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We fight common-land swap at the Canyons

September 26, 2018

We have objected to an application from Peakman Ltd to remove part of Mynydd Llanhilleth Common from the common-land register. This popular common is near Abertillery in south Wales. As part of its plan to extract aggregates from the nearby quarry, Peakman wants to widen the existing Blaen y Cwm road and create parking bays.…

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We call for greater protection of green spaces in cities

September 18, 2018

We have welcomed the Welsh Conservative Party’s consultation paper Liveable Cities and its support for parks and green spaces and sustainable transport in cities. In responding, the society has made some new proposals. While it welcomes the paper’s recommendation that local authorities should be required to submit plans that highlight land which can be made…

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