How We Are Run

The Open Spaces Society is Britain’s oldest national conservation body, founded in 1865.  The charitable mission of the Open Spaces Society is defined by our legal constitution – the Memorandum and Articles of Association.

The Open Spaces Society is a charity registered in England and Wales (no 1144840). The charity is the successor to the Commons, Open Spaces and Footpaths Preservation Society (registered charity no 214753), which was established by a trust deed dated 6 December 1963.

A non-profit-making company limited by guarantee, registered in England No.7846516.

Our registered office is: 25a Bell Street, Henley-on-Thames  RG9 2BA.

Under charity law, we are governed by a board of trustees, who are all volunteers. The trustees are also directors under company law. Trustees are appointed by the members of the Society, in accordance with the Memorandum and Articles of Association, and they agree our strategy, policies, and overall budget to ensure our sustainability long-term.

The trustees delegate the day-to-day responsibilities of the Society to the General Secretary and other Society staff. The executive staff report to trustees through board meetings. The minutes of trustee meetings and the AGM are available online so that members can see what the board is doing on their behalf.

Key governance documents

The Open Spaces Society’s governing document is its Memorandum and Articles of Association and defines its objects as follows:

  • to protect common land, open spaces and town and village greens from encroachment and, subject to the rights of the commoners, to secure their use by the general public;
  • to protect, preserve and enhance existing public paths and carriageways used mainly as public paths and to secure their proper recording, maintenance and signposting for the benefit of the public;
  • to secure the creation and preservation of new public paths, open spaces and access to and over open country for the benefit of the public;
  • to protect the beauty of the countryside and to promote its fullest enjoyment by the public.

The Open Spaces Society Memorandum and Articles of Association

Download our strategic plan for 2022-27

Working Practices

Casework Policy

Privacy Policy

Complaints Procedure

As a member of the Wildlife and Countryside Link, the largest environment and wildlife coalition in England, we have signed up to this diversity and anti-racism statement.


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