Latest News

We help to save Mucklewick Hill, Shropshire, from disfigurement 

February 14, 2024

We are delighted that Shropshire Council’s planners have rejected an application for a 15-metre-high telecommunications mast with ancillary equipment on Mucklewick Hill in the Shropshire Hills National Landscape.  The hill is 15 miles south-west of Shrewsbury, and six miles north-east of Bishops Castle in south Shropshire.  The society, the Shropshire Area of the Ramblers, and…

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Our new representative in Spelthorne Borough, Surrey 

February 9, 2024

We have appointed Ashley Redsell as our local correspondent to watch over the commons of Spelthorne Borough in Surrey.  Ashley will keep a close eye on developments in Spelthorne, and where attempts are made to take over common land, he will work with the borough and county councils, and local residents to prevent this destruction. …

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Where are the new public spaces? We challenge government pledge 

February 1, 2024

The 31 January was the first anniversary of the government’s pledge, in its Environmental Improvement Plan, that (within five years) ‘the public will benefit from a new commitment to access green space or water within a 15-minute walk from their home, such as woodlands, wetlands, parks and rivers’.  A year on, we question what is…

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Manifesto for the London mayor

January 31, 2024

The society is a member of the More Natural Capital coalition of 19 organisations which has set out its top ten priorities for the London mayoral election on 2 May 2024. We are particularly pleased that the manifesto supports our Open Spaces Charter and our call for new town and village greens. We urge our…

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New watchdog in Ceredigion

January 25, 2024

We have appointed Richard Price as our local correspondent for west Ceredigion.  Richard will be the society’s eyes and ears here, keeping a close watch on paths, commons, greens, and open spaces.  He shares the county with Gerald Davies who covers east Ceredigion.  Richard’s background is in financial services, having been an independent financial adviser…

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Land at Nesfield, North Yorkshire, restored as common 

January 16, 2024

We have welcomed the Planning Inspectorate’s decision to grant the society’s application to register as common approximately one third of a hectare of land in the village of Nesfield in North Yorkshire (just over two miles north-west of Ilkley).  The land comprises two pieces of grassland separated by a path which leads from Gill Lane…

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Public rights of way blocked in 32,000 places

January 14, 2024

We’re shocked that walkers are finding public paths in England and Wales blocked in nearly 32,000 places—that’s one obstruction every four and a half miles, and they are getting worse. As Britain’s oldest national conservation body, we’ve been campaigning to protect footpaths, bridleways and byways – as well as other open spaces – since 1865,…

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Dartmoor backpack-camping case is to go to Supreme Court 

January 11, 2024

We are deeply dismayed that the Supreme Court has granted the Dartmoor landowners, Alexander and Diana Darwall, leave to appeal in the Dartmoor backpack-camping case.  The society intervened in support of the Dartmoor National Park Authority in the Court of Appeal, and it was delighted when that court ruled that the Dartmoor Commons Act 1985 gave…

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Our plan to secure urban green spaces for the public 

January 10, 2024

We made a host of recommendations to secure urban green spaces for public enjoyment.    These recommendations have been published by the House of Commons’ Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs Committee, which last year conducted an inquiry into the ecological, environmental, and human benefits of green space, and the most effective solutions to making cities greener…

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We help to save Sneedhams Green common, Gloucestershire, from encroachment 

December 21, 2023

We welcome an inspector’s decision to refuse commons consent for works on Sneedhams Green in Gloucestershire.  Black Box Planning Ltd, on behalf of the G W Hughes Will Trust, had applied to the Planning Inspectorate for approval to construct access ways across the common, which is south of Matson and close to the M5.  The…

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