Latest News

An extract from Open Space Magazine: reflecting on forty years

June 7, 2024

In the latest edition of Open Space magazine, Kate Ashbrook reflects on 40 years in her post as the general secretary of the Open Spaces Society.   Forty years on When I joined the Open Spaces Society as its general secretary 40 years ago, our world was very different, says Kate Ashbrook, our general secretary. We…

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Our ten-point plan for the new government 

May 30, 2024

We’ve published our ten-point plan for the new government. Says our general secretary, Kate Ashbrook: ‘In these tough times, during a cost-of-living and climate crisis, open spaces and paths for health and well-being, close to people’s homes, have never been more important.’  Public access  1. Early consultation on how to improve access for all The…

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Land restored as common at Lower Banns, Cornwall 

April 30, 2024

We welcome Cornwall Council’s decision to grant an application to register as common 0.26 hectares of woodland at Lower Banns, Mount Hawke, two miles south of St Agnes in Cornwall. The land comprises two parcels of land. One is situated on the north side of Banns Road and the other immediately opposite on the south…

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New government: new access? 

April 29, 2024

‘The new government must plan to provide better access for people, for their recreation and enjoyment, and for their health and well-being.’  This was the message from our general secretary Kate Ashbrook, speaking on 27 April at the 92nd anniversary event to commemorate the Kinder Scout Mass Trespass in 1932.  The event, organised by the…

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New village green at One Tree Hill

April 25, 2024

We are celebrating the decision by Surrey County Council to register One Tree Hill at Long Ditton as a village green, thereby protecting it for ever. The land comprises about 10 hectares of mixed woodland, open grassland, and scrub intersected by numerous paths. About seven years ago, Elmbridge Borough Council’s consultants, Ove Arup and Partners,…

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Unlawful gates to go

April 22, 2024

In October 2022 the British Horse Society served two notices on North Yorkshire Council, under section 130A of the Highways Act 1980, for the removal of two pairs of large, ornamental gates. These were obstructing either end of an 800-metre restricted byway in Stanwick St John, a small village about five miles north-east of Richmond.…

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We reject power grab for electric bikes

April 18, 2024

We have criticised government plans to double electric bikes’ power ratings. Responding to a consultation by the Department for Transport,[1] we say that the proposals to enable higher-powered electrically-assisted pedal bicycles (EAPCs) on Britain’s highways are inappropriate and potentially harmful to users of the public rights of way network in England and Wales. Says our…

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Urban green space report misses trick  

March 19, 2024

We have welcomed the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee’s letter to the Defra secretary, Stephen Barclay, with its findings on its inquiry into urban green spaces.  The committee concluded that ‘these vital parts of communities are under serious threat’ and in need of urgent action to reverse their national decline, despite their immense environmental…

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Coastal land in Cornwall registered as common 

March 18, 2024

We welcome Cornwall Council’s decision to grant two applications to register common land on the north coast of Cornwall. One of the applications was made by the society and the other by Tomas Hill who has a keen interest in common land.  The land, which is owned by the National Trust, comprises just over 170…

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Access is a vital element of the Sustainable Farming Scheme in Wales

March 11, 2024

We have responded to the Welsh government’s consultation on the Sustainable Farming Scheme (SFS), whereby money is given to landowners and farmers to deliver public goods.  We warmly welcome the SFS and are pleased that it offers landowners and farmers the opportunity to provide improved public access.  We believe this public good to be of…

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