Latest News

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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Commercial commons

November 18, 2021

Local authorities in south London, keen on exploiting their commons and open spaces, are facing stiff opposition from local campaigners, writes our local correspondent for Lambeth and Wandsworth, Jeremy Clyne. Clapham Common has become a battleground because of Lambeth Council’s misuse of a large area, known as the ‘events site’. This is closed to the…

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NEW Giving Green gift book bundles

November 2, 2021

We have partnered with Saraband, the Salford based award-winning independent publisher, as part of a Christmas fundraising initiative. The company represents authors who write about UK landscapes, wildlife, culture and folk traditions. Their titles cover fiction and non-fiction and have included a Booker Prize shortlist  entry, the Wainright Prize for nature writing and the Robert…

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Chiswick Park

Budget does nothing for public access

November 1, 2021

We are deeply disappointed by the government’s budget, announced on 27 October.  We had hopes that it would fund more and better public access, in town and country, in recognition of the effect of the pandemic which has made everyone appreciate the value of outdoor recreation for health and well-being.  The government, in its flagship…

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Attendees at the event on 15 July

The Society celebrates the strength of people power

October 25, 2021

‘So often success depends on the power of people coming together.’  So writes Kate Ashbrook, the general secretary of the Open Spaces Society, in Opinion (page 1) of the society’s magazine Open Space, published today (25 October). Kate cites recent examples in which the society has been involved: saving Bristol’s downs from car-parking by the Downs…

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