Latest News

We fight new threat to Brent River Park, Ealing 

June 17, 2024

We have objected to an application from Ealing Council to erect a massive leisure-centre with residential development and other infrastructure in Brent River Park in Ealing.    The society is concerned that the development will take a bite out of the Brent River Park, destroying metropolitan open land (MOL) and public open space (POS).  It argues…

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Access groups free an obstructed byway in North Yorkshire 

June 17, 2024

The society was pleased to support the British Horse Society (BHS), along with the Byways and Bridleways Trust and Ramblers, to secure the removal of two pairs of large, ornamental gates which were obstructing a restricted byway in Stanwick St John, about eight miles north-east of Richmond in North Yorkshire.  The BHS issued proceedings in…

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John Lavery, 1953-2024

June 10, 2024

Our former trustee John Lavery has died aged 70. John became involved in the society after he retired from his post as a lawyer with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). He was one of our trustees from 2013 to 2019, and for a time our parliamentary agent, studying the private bills…

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An extract from Open Space Magazine: reflecting on forty years

June 7, 2024

In the latest edition of Open Space magazine, Kate Ashbrook reflects on 40 years in her post as the general secretary of the Open Spaces Society.   Forty years on When I joined the Open Spaces Society as its general secretary 40 years ago, our world was very different, says Kate Ashbrook, our general secretary. We…

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Our ten-point plan for the new government 

May 30, 2024

We’ve published our ten-point plan for the new government. Says our general secretary, Kate Ashbrook: ‘In these tough times, during a cost-of-living and climate crisis, open spaces and paths for health and well-being, close to people’s homes, have never been more important.’  Public access  1. Early consultation on how to improve access for all The…

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Ringwood & Fordingbridge Footpath Society celebrates 50th anniversary

May 21, 2024

‘The Ringwood & Fordingbridge Footpath Society (RFFS) is a vital eyes and ears on the ground in this part of Hampshire, adjacent to the New Forest.’  So said Kate Ashbrook, our general secretary, speaking at the lunch in Ibsley to celebrate the RFFS’s 50th anniversary on Saturday (18 May). ‘The RFFS has been a member of…

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Government goes nowhere on green spaces

May 2, 2024

We are deeply disappointed at the government’s lacklustre response to the recent Urban Green Spaces inquiry. Last year the House of Commons’ Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee conducted an inquiry into the ecological, environmental, and human benefits of green space, and the most effective solutions to making cities greener and nature rich. The society…

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Land restored as common at Lower Banns, Cornwall 

April 30, 2024

We welcome Cornwall Council’s decision to grant an application to register as common 0.26 hectares of woodland at Lower Banns, Mount Hawke, two miles south of St Agnes in Cornwall. The land comprises two parcels of land. One is situated on the north side of Banns Road and the other immediately opposite on the south…

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New government: new access? 

April 29, 2024

‘The new government must plan to provide better access for people, for their recreation and enjoyment, and for their health and well-being.’  This was the message from our general secretary Kate Ashbrook, speaking on 27 April at the 92nd anniversary event to commemorate the Kinder Scout Mass Trespass in 1932.  The event, organised by the…

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New village green at One Tree Hill

April 25, 2024

We are celebrating the decision by Surrey County Council to register One Tree Hill at Long Ditton as a village green, thereby protecting it for ever. The land comprises about 10 hectares of mixed woodland, open grassland, and scrub intersected by numerous paths. About seven years ago, Elmbridge Borough Council’s consultants, Ove Arup and Partners,…

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