Latest News

A statement on the Queen’s Speech

May 10, 2022

A statement on today’s Queen’s Speech from our General Secretary, Kate Ashbrook. ‘The society is pleased that the Queen’s Speech, made on 10 May, includes a Levelling-Up and Regeneration Bill, but is adamant that levelling up must include public access to green spaces and to nature.  The society criticised the Levelling-Up White Paper in February…

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Criminalising bottles on the beach at Whitstable, Kent

May 10, 2022

We have criticised a draft public spaces protection order [1] for Whitstable [2] in Kent which will make criminals of many of its residents and visitors. Canterbury City Council has consulted on a draft order which would apply to the ‘Whitstable and Herne Bay Coastal Zone’. It would create new criminal offences to address activities having…

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Blackbushe aerodrome remains a common

April 28, 2022

We have welcomed the decision of the supreme court not to grant leave to appeal against a decision that Blackbushe aerodrome should remain registered as common land.   The aerodrome lies on Yateley Common in Hampshire. It was established as a temporary wartime measure.[1] It is now operated by Blackbushe Airport Limited (BAL). Yateley Common,…

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A juggling act

April 26, 2022

Tywardreath and Par Parish Council (between Fowey and St Austell in Cornwall) set up a neighbourhood development plan (NDP) steering group. It has created a plan which protects open spaces (land and water) in the parish, setting an example to other communities. Alison White, the group’s secretary and a member of the society, provides tips…

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‘Natural Health Service’ proposed by access campaigners on anniversary of Kinder trespass

April 26, 2022

Access campaigners have called for a new movement to campaign for a ‘Natural Heath Service’ through greater access to our countryside. The proposal was presented at the 90th anniversary celebrations of the Kinder Scout Mass Trespass at Hayfield on Saturday (April 23). Kate Ashbrook, our general secretary, told a packed audience in The Royal Hotel:…

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Herefordshire’s historic Boat Lane, near Ross-On-Wye, is now on the map

April 21, 2022

We are delighted that the ancient Boat Lane, in the parishes of Goodrich and Walford south of Ross-on-Wye, has been added to Herefordshire Council’s definitive map of public paths, after a 20-year campaign. The route was claimed in 2003 by the society’s former local correspondent for south Herefordshire, Owen Morgan.  He argued that the lane…

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Our new guide to saving green spaces

April 19, 2022

We have published a new edition of Getting Greens Registered, our step-by-step guide to registering land in England and Wales as a town or village green. Once registered, the land is protected from development and encroachment, and local people have rights of recreation there. The new (fourth) edition explains how local people must gather evidence…

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Happy returns?

April 5, 2022

Anniversaries are opportunities.  So writes our general secretary Kate Ashbrook in her Opinion piece in the spring issue of Open Space. Ninety years ago this April, the trespassers on Kinder Scout in the Peak District made a brave bid for freedom. It is sad that government has not marked this event with a strong statement…

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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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‘Keep up the good work!’ is the message from our members’ survey

December 7, 2021

‘Keep up the good work!’ is the message from our members’ survey In September 2021 we conducted our first members’ survey in over 7 years. We received an incredible response; almost 20%of our members completed the anonymous online questionnaire, answering wide-ranging questions about themselves, our organisation, the quality of our work and our website, as…

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