Latest News

Buxton footpath in Norfolk open at last

July 26, 2018

We are pleased that Norfolk County Council has belatedly replaced unlawful stiles with gates on Buxton with Lamas footpath 4, three miles south east of Aylsham. The stiles were in appalling condition and difficult to negotiate, and they had not been authorised on this public path (under section 147 of the Highways Act 1980)(1). The…

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Government’s planning charter fails to protect open spaces

July 26, 2018

We are dismayed that the revised Natural Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), which was published on 24 July, gives no additional protection to open spaces, beyond a tiny improvement in wording. The society had objected in the draft to the restrictive wording accompanying the designation of land as local green space (LGS).  The draft stated that…

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Welsh access on hold

July 24, 2018

Last year we responded to a consultation from the Welsh Government, Taking forward Wales’s sustainable management of natural resources. Chapter 4 was about access to the outdoors. We welcomed its proposal for extended access to coast and cliff, riverbanks and lakesides, an all-Wales digital map of access, and the repeal of the 2026 closure of…

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Common-land swap at Gorseinon, Swansea

July 16, 2018

We are disappointed that Welsh Ministers have approved plans by Persimmon Homes to swap an area of Mynydd Garngoch Common at Gorseinon, north-west of Swansea. Persimmon has been permitted to strike 0.71 hectares of common land from the register and use it for development, replacing it with 0.81 hectares of land which the Open Spaces…

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Parks under unprecedented pressure

July 4, 2018

‘Our public parks are under unprecedented pressure, 50 years after a law which was intended to protect and improve the countryside close to people’s homes.’ So declared our vice-president, Paul Clayden, at our annual general meeting in London today (5 July). ‘This week [3 July] we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Countryside Act 1968,…

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Lake District’s plan review may endanger unique landscape

July 3, 2018

We fear that the review of the Local Plan for the Lake District National Park may result in an intensification of activities which are alien to the environment. The society has expressed these views in its response to the consultation on the plan. Says one of our case officers, Nicola Hodgson: ‘This is a unique…

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The rescue of Cassiobridge Common, Watford

June 28, 2018

We are celebrating the registration of Cassiobridge Common in Watford as a ‘new’ common. Hertfordshire County Council has approved its own proposal to register the common for the first time, which will ensure it is protected from development and encroachment. The common is a small, nearly one hectare, area of green space next to the…

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Nominations now due for Elinor Ostrom Award

June 12, 2018

Our general secretary, Kate Ashbrook, will once again be acting as an assessor for the Elinor Ostrom Award on Collective Governance of the Commons for 2019. Nominations are due very soon: 15 June 2018. Please consider nominating a senior (more than 10 years after a PhD) or junior scholar, or a practitioner (individual or organisation).…

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Campaign to reopen ancient Gloucestershire route

June 12, 2018

We are pressing Gloucestershire County Council to reopen the ancient Bentley Lane, which runs to the east of Southam village onto Cleeve Common. The lane has been blocked by gates since 2010. The old track is laid out in the Bishops Cleeve Inclosure Award of 1836 with a width of 30 feet. It leads directly…

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Worcestershire Council rules out Trimpley Green loss

May 29, 2018

We have welcomed the decision of Worcestershire County Council to reject an application to deregister part of Trimpley Green, common land near Kidderminster. The application was made to the council in July 2016, in relation to land east of the pond on the Habberley road. The application proposed to deregister common land adjacent to Crofton…

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