Grant a Green Campaign

The Open Spaces Society has been defending open spaces in England and Wales since 1865.

Introducing our Grant a Green Campaign

It has been a tough 12 months, many aspects of everyday life have been hit by the Coronavirus pandemic. The benefits of spending time in open, green spaces have never been more in focus. Recognised as essential for our health—physical and mental—these open spaces are undervalued and face countless threats: from lack of local authority funds to maintain and manage them, from prowling developers, and most recently from the Westminster government's schemes to destroy the planning system as we know it—to name a few.

Now more than ever is the time for change.

Our aim

Check, identify, act.  Local authorities all over England and Wales own land which people enjoy—from tiny scraps to acres left over after planning.  Whatever the size, beautiful or not, cared for or neglected, we aim to see it protected against damage and development. The way to do this is for the landowner voluntarily to register it as a town or village green (TVG).

General secretary, Kate Ashbrook, talks about our Grant a Green campaign

We can guide you through the process for voluntary registration of a TVG

Voluntary registration of land does not change the ownership in any way but it does confer the strongest protection from development under current legislation.

Here are some links to resources to help you make a successful TVG voluntary registration

  • Voluntary registration 
  • Make an application (Form 44 outside of the pioneer areas [1]  ) 
  • Make an application (Form C9 in pioneer areas [1]  ) 
  • Wales advice guidance on voluntary registration 
  • Defra England advice on voluntary registration

Some commons registration authorities have their own application packs, so do check with the relevant website for these. There are no fees to submit an application.


[1] Pioneer areas: Blackburn with Darwen, Lancashire (ex. Blackpool), Kent (ex. unitary authorities) Devon (ex. unitary authorities), Hertfordshire, Herefordshire, Cornwall ), Cumbria, North Yorkshire


Our campaigning works!

We have proven expertise that makes the society uniquely placed to generate awareness of the voluntary registration process for TVG and a track record of successful case studies to provide inspiration and confidence

photo of Freemans Meadow (c) N Chadwick, Creative Commons Licence
Henley Town Council voluntarily dedicated Freemans Meadow as a TVG (c) N Chadwick, Creative Commons Licence

The Open Spaces Society will do these things to achieve our goal to protect more open spaces as TVG

  • Call on every local council in England and Wales to identify and register voluntarily any land they own as a town or village green.
  • Advise our members on how to protect their local open spaces as TVG, for the benefit of their communities.
  • Create awareness of voluntary registration as the most robust means of protecting local open spaces in perpetuity.
  • Seek to get the issue of increased threats to local green spaces debated in the council and mayoral elections this spring.
  • Support our members through the process of making voluntary registrations of TVG.
  • Provide case studies and news of success stories on our website to foster expertise and the speed and ease of registrations.

Landowner? Member of the public? What can you do to help protect open space for your community?

  • Raise this issue with your council or mayoral election candidates this spring - community land in use for recreation and enjoyment needs permanent protection in law
  • Public landowners eg Parish and Community Councils should identify land for potential TVG registration
  • Get involved in local and neighbourhood plans before land is allocated for development, and identify spaces which need protection.
  • Form friends’ groups, which can:
    • care for their local spaces,
    • raise money, carrying out voluntary work,
    • act as a pressure group to raise awareness of the need for protection and this mechanism

Action we've taken for open spaces

Our charter for open spaces in England (August 2020)  

Our charter for open spaces in Wales (August 2020)  

Support for the launch of the Vision for Planning document as an alternative for the government's  Planning for the Future white paper (January 2021)

Response to the Welsh government post-covid recovery and reconstruction proposals (March 2021)

Challenged the MHCLG NPPF and NMDCC propsals (March 2021)

Signatory to: Placemaking Wales (November 2020)

Response to the government consultation: Planning for the Future MHCLG (Oct 2020)

This page is printer friendly. Use the controls in your browser to print all or part of our charter. To share the charter, cut and paste this page link into an email:

Need to know more about town and village green registration?

  • Charter for open spaces in Wales

    Read our charter for the future of open spaces in Wales.

  • Strategic Plan 2019 - 2024

    Read our strategic plan for 2019-2024 which outlines how we will realise our vision for paths and open spaces.

  • How do we protect open spaces?

    Read our article about protecting open and green space close to where people live.

  • Town and village greens

    An introduction to why we campaign to protect land as town and village greens.

  • Guidance on making a successful green application

    These guidance notes have kindly been prepared by The Friends of Coombe Wood, who successfully registered a green in 2013.

  • Charter for open spaces in England

    Read our August 2020 charter for the promotion and protection of open spaces so that everyone in England can benefit.

  • Enabling healthy placemaking

    Royal Town Planning Institute July 2020 research seeks to identify the challenges faced by planners who try to integrate healthy placemaking principles in their decisions.

  • Registration of a town or village green

    A quick guide to the voluntary registration of town or village greens

  • Defra guidance registration of land as a town or village green

    Defra's guidance notes for the completion of an application for the registration of land as a town or village green outside the pioneer implementation areas i.e. when using Form 44.

  • Court cases on town & village greens

    We publish a commentary about most decisions in the courts about town and village registration cases. You can find a list of these cases here together with a hyperlink to our commentary or (where there is none) a report of the case on the website for the British and Irish Legal Information Institute.