Latest News

Grant a green: The Open Spaces Society’s call to local councils

April 29, 2021

Today we launch our Grant A Green campaign.  The society is to urge local councils in England and Wales voluntarily to register their open spaces as town or village greens[1], to protect them from development and give local people rights of recreation there. It is more important now than ever to secure our green spaces. …

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Tony on Trawden recreation ground with Pendle Hill behind, Christmas day family meet-up outdoors, 2020

Tony Greaves (27 July 1942-23 March 2021)

April 6, 2021

We are deeply saddened that our vice-president, Tony (Lord) Greaves, has died suddenly at his home at Trawden in Lancashire. He was 78. Tony was a Liberal Democrat peer and Pendle Borough Councillor, who spoke out strongly on behalf of the environment and people’s rights. He entered the House of Lords as a life peer…

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Countryside Code’s seventieth anniversary

April 1, 2021

The Open Spaces Society’s involvement with the Countryside Code precedes its first publication, as the Country Code, in 1951. In fact, with the Ramblers, we instigated it. The society has always wanted to see greater access to the countryside and everyone to feel welcome there. In 1945 we noted that one of the difficulties we…

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Government’s missed opportunity to protect local open spaces

March 25, 2021

We are dismayed that the government proposes, in wholesale changes to the planning system, to undermine the protection afforded to green spaces. The society has raised these concerns in its response to the consultation from the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government on amendments to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).  The NPPF, among…

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Brent River Park summer 2020

Open Spaces Society delighted that Brent River Park, Ealing, is saved

March 25, 2021

We are delighted that Ealing Council’s planning committee on 17 March resolved to save Brent River Park.  It rejected Be:Here Ealing Ltd’s application to erect a massive leisure centre, six high-rise housing blocks and other development on the Gurnell Leisure Centre site next to the park. Although the council’s planning officer recommended conditional approval, the…

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Looking north-west over the new green towards the RCV estate

More take than give

March 18, 2021

Our general secretary, Kate Ashbrook, considers the new threat to open spaces from the government’s proposed demolition of the planning system. Step by step our cherished planning system is being destroyed. Last year we slated the government’s white paper, Planning for the Future. Now government intends to extend permitted development rights. This would mean that…

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Trustee

January 1, 2021

Role: to be part of the governing body of the Open Spaces Society and help it fulfill its role of protecting open spaces and public paths for the use of the public and, in particular, to help it become more financially self-sufficient and thus ensure it continues to help future generations. We have an excellent…

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Local correspondent

January 1, 2021

The work of the Open Spaces Society depends heavily on its volunteers. In particular our team of Local Correspondents is the backbone of our efforts to preserve public paths, common land and greens. For this post it is essential that the person has the ability to understand and scrutinise path change consultations and orders and…

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Happy Christmas 2020

December 22, 2020

Watch our general secretary, Kate Ashbrook’s Christmas 2020 message.

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Celebrating the CROW Act’s 20th birthday

November 30, 2020

Today, 30 November, we celebrate 20 years since the Countryside and Rights of Way (CROW) Act obtained royal assent.  Part one of the Act was a great milestone in the history of the access movement, giving the public the right to walk responsibly on all registered common land and mapped mountain, moor, heath and down…

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