Latest News

2021 What a year!

December 22, 2021

Watch our general secretary Kate Ashbrook’s Christmas message

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2021 Report for the Stakeholder Working Group on Unrecorded Public Rights of Way

December 20, 2021

The aim of the Deregulation Act 2015 is to speed up the processing and determination of path claims. It is the result of many years’ work, and the consensus reached, by the rights of way stakeholder working group, consisting of balanced representation from landowners, local authorities and users. Our general secretary Kate Ashbrook is a…

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‘Keep up the good work!’ is the message from our members’ survey

December 7, 2021

‘Keep up the good work!’ is the message from our members’ survey In September 2021 we conducted our first members’ survey in over 7 years. We received an incredible response; almost 20%of our members completed the anonymous online questionnaire, answering wide-ranging questions about themselves, our organisation, the quality of our work and our website, as…

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OSS Footpath to west of Hope-under-Dinmore footpath HD4

Government ignores public access in new farm payments

December 2, 2021

Our general secretary, Kate Ashbrook, comments on the government’s lamentable failure to introduce public access into the new agricultural funding-regime. We are dismayed that the government’s new, post-Brexit, environmental land management scheme (ELMS), published on 2 December, fails to offer payments for public access and paths on farmland. This is despite repeated commitments from ministers,…

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This Christmas, paths and open spaces matter – now more than ever

November 29, 2021

The Covid-19 pandemic, homeworking, the climate emergency, refugee crisis, and COP26 events in the past year have made for a challenging, harrowing but thought-provoking 12 months. Most of us have had cause to reflect on our lifestyles, values and priorities. Many will continue to look outside their homes or work-place to gain solace and conjure…

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Darvel Down green, Battle, East Sussex

We back bid for new greens in Battle, East Sussex

November 25, 2021

We are backing our member, Mr Bev Marks, who is spearheading a campaign to protect Battle’s green spaces for ever, by registering them as town or village greens. Bev has proposed to Battle Town Council that it persuade the owners of four green spaces voluntarily to register them as greens. The spaces have been earmarked…

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Downs for People celebrate their victory

People power

November 18, 2021

So often success depends on the power of people coming together, writes our general secretary, Kate Ashbrook. Whether they are saving Bristol’s downs from car-parking, protecting London’s commons from commercial exploitation, or winning access to Worthing’s hinterland, the campaigning clout of local people is fundamental. And it always has been—witness the mass trespasses on Bolton’s…

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Police on Wanstead Flats July 1871. Credit Essex Field Club

Book reviews autumn 2021

November 18, 2021

James Chuter Ede by Stephen Hart (Pen & Sword £25 hardback, 354 pages). They don’t make politicians like Chuter Ede (1882-1965) any more. He came from a nonconformist (Unitarian) background and began in active politics as a Liberal. He joined the Labour Party towards the end of WWI in his mid-thirties, having served as a…

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Flooded bridleway in the Piddle Valley, Dorset

Piddle Valley bridleway

November 18, 2021

In the Piddle Valley, north of Dorchester in Dorset, a 2.5-mile bridleway has been a historic link between the three villages of Piddletrenthide, White Lackington, and Piddlehinton. Today it is in a parlous state. The Piddle Path Action Team writes of its efforts to restore it. The bridleway today is in places impassable for much…

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The non-highway land (where the car is parked). Photo: Brian Keates

Much ado about nothing

November 18, 2021

Our Coventry local correspondent John Hall, with assistance from one of our case officers, Hugh Craddock, exposes the sloppy approach to rights-of-way matters by the National Transport Casework Team (NTCT), and persuades it to put things right. In March, the NTCT proposed to make two orders under section 247 of the Town and Country Planning…

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