Latest News

Blackbushe aerodrome remains a common

April 28, 2022

We have welcomed the decision of the supreme court not to grant leave to appeal against a decision that Blackbushe aerodrome should remain registered as common land.   The aerodrome lies on Yateley Common in Hampshire. It was established as a temporary wartime measure.[1] It is now operated by Blackbushe Airport Limited (BAL). Yateley Common,…

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‘Natural Health Service’ proposed by access campaigners on anniversary of Kinder trespass

April 26, 2022

Access campaigners have called for a new movement to campaign for a ‘Natural Heath Service’ through greater access to our countryside. The proposal was presented at the 90th anniversary celebrations of the Kinder Scout Mass Trespass at Hayfield on Saturday (April 23). Kate Ashbrook, our general secretary, told a packed audience in The Royal Hotel:…

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Herefordshire’s historic Boat Lane, near Ross-On-Wye, is now on the map

April 21, 2022

We are delighted that the ancient Boat Lane, in the parishes of Goodrich and Walford south of Ross-on-Wye, has been added to Herefordshire Council’s definitive map of public paths, after a 20-year campaign. The route was claimed in 2003 by the society’s former local correspondent for south Herefordshire, Owen Morgan.  He argued that the lane…

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Our new guide to saving green spaces

April 19, 2022

We have published a new edition of Getting Greens Registered, our step-by-step guide to registering land in England and Wales as a town or village green. Once registered, the land is protected from development and encroachment, and local people have rights of recreation there. The new (fourth) edition explains how local people must gather evidence…

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Happy returns?

April 5, 2022

Anniversaries are opportunities.  So writes our general secretary Kate Ashbrook in her Opinion piece in the spring issue of Open Space. Ninety years ago this April, the trespassers on Kinder Scout in the Peak District made a brave bid for freedom. It is sad that government has not marked this event with a strong statement…

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Newly recorded track in Norfolk

2026 Guillotine for historic ways is abolished

February 17, 2022

We are delighted that the government is to scrap the 2026 deadline for recording historic paths in England.  This deadline has, for more than 20 years, threatened our unique path-network. The deadline meant that on 1 January 2026, public rights over thousands of paths, which are public highways but not yet recorded as such, or…

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New green secured voluntarily in Dartmouth, Devon

February 4, 2022

We are delighted that the historic community-orchard in Dartmouth, Devon, is now officially a village green.  On 2 February, the society joined an event organised by the Friends of Dartmouth Community Orchard and Dartmouth Town Council to unveil the plaque marking this achievement. Now that the orchard is registered as a green with Devon County…

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Our stand against the grandstand

January 27, 2022

We save common land at Richmond Low Moor, North Yorkshire We have welcomed a court order setting aside the removal of common land from Richmond Low Moor following the society’s legal action. On 21 June 2021, North Yorkshire County Council granted an application by the Richmond Burgage Pastures Committee to deregister common land at the…

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Our justice system undermined

January 26, 2022

Over the last 157 years, the Open Spaces Society has taken pride in successfully using the courts to rectify wrongs affecting commons, greens, other open spaces, and public paths. We also back our members in their legal actions. Now, the Westminster government’s Judicial Review and Courts Bill is set to have a profoundly detrimental effect…

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Parks for ever

January 11, 2022

Simon Hunt, one of our trustees and the former chair of the Friends of Finsbury Park, reflects on the increasing importance of open spaces in the context of the pandemic and climate crisis. On 23 March 2020 the public was told to stay at home. Shops, pubs, gyms, theatres, cafes and restaurants were closed, and…

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