Latest News

Insider hacks: Public access and rights of way guidance the Government doesn’t want you to see

August 13, 2019

The Government has progressively reduced the amount of information available to the public on the web. Sometimes it has done this by rewriting guidance so that it is easier to understand — but sometimes it has just removed guidance altogether, either because it thinks there is insufficient interest, or because no-one is left to update…

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Unlawful fence removed from Nottinghamshire common

August 13, 2019

Nottinghamshire County Council has persuaded a householder to remove an unlawful fence from Hanging Hill Lane common, Normanton-on-Trent. We urged the council to act after the environment secretary rejected a retrospective application for works on common land. The common is a long strip, consisting of Hanging Hill Lane and a broad verge on either side.…

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Finsbury Park

Finsbury Park is vital for our health and well-being

August 13, 2019

‘Finsbury Park, and other open spaces in London and beyond, are vital for our health and well-being.’ So said Kate Ashbrook, our general secretary, at celebrations to mark Finsbury Park’s 150th anniversary. Kate was taking part in a discussion group, with Catherine West, MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, and Hugh White, chair of the…

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Hartfield footpath

We win greater width for Mayfield footpath

July 25, 2019

Brendan Clegg, our local correspondent for Wealden District in East Sussex, has won a five-metre width on a footpath at Mayfield. The county council promoted a plan to move the path, but proposed that the new route had a width of only two and a half metres. Brendan argued that this was insufficient, particularly if…

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image Kevin Griffiths Knutsford Heath

Knutsford Heath event guidelines welcomed

July 25, 2019

The national Open Spaces Society is delighted at the enormous step forward for Knutsford Heath, an important area of common land in Knutsford, Cheshire East.  The owner of The Heath, Tatton Estate, has signed an agreement with Knutsford Town Council and the Friends of The Heath (an Open Spaces Society member) to provide guidelines for the use…

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Village greens in the balance warns Open Spaces Society

July 11, 2019

‘Our green spaces are under unprecedented threat as the law on town and village greens is in the balance.’ So declared the Open Spaces Society’s chairman, Chris Beney, at the society’s annual general meeting in London on Thursday (11 July). ‘Only recently the courts ruled that 380 square metres at Vowley View, Wootton Bassett in…

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Blackbushe airport ruling could put many commons under threat

June 18, 2019

We are dismayed that a planning inspector has ruled that part of Yateley Common in Hampshire should lose its common-land status. Mr Alan Beckett was the inspector at the public inquiry in April into Blackbushe Airport Ltd’s application to deregister nearly half a square kilometre of common land covering the airport. He has said that…

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Securing Open Spaces

June 11, 2019

Our case officer, Nicola Hodgson, advises how you can win open space as part of development in England – Local Green Space (LGS) does not exist in Wales  Town or village green (TVG) Registration of land under section 15(2) Commons Act 2006. Anyone may apply to the commons registration authority to register land as TVG…

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Unhappy trigger

June 11, 2019

Our general secretary, Kate Ashbrook considers the wider implications of a recent court of appeal judgment on greens.  Town and village greens have been dealt a further body-blow. The appeal court has outlawed the registration of land which is within a ‘settlement boundary’ as a green.  Ever since the egregious Growth and Infrastructure Act 2013…

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Seven Sisters secured

June 8, 2019

We have welcomed East Sussex County Council’s proposal to transfer ownership of Seven Sisters Country Park to the South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA). This follows nearly five years of uncertainty. Said our local representative, Brendan Clegg: ‘This is excellent news and a huge relief to all those who cherish this wonderful place. We are…

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