Latest News

Joint statement on Permitted Development Rights: England

January 21, 2021

We, the undersigned, express our deep concern about the latest proposals for the expansion of Permitted Development Rights in England. These proposals[1]  will lower housing standards and accessible natural green infrastructure provision, extinguish local democracy, and end public participation. Communities and their local councils have simply lost control of many of the forms of development…

Read More

Statement on criminal trespass

January 19, 2021

We have joined with eight other organisations in a letter to the Home Secretary, condemning plans to make trespass a criminal offence.  Our letter comes ahead of the publication of the government’s Police Powers and Protections Bill which will enact the Conservative Party’s manifesto commitment to ‘make intentional trespass a criminal offence’. The society has expressed…

Read More

We back Vision for Planning 2021 launch

January 14, 2021

Our case office, Nicola Hodgson, has helped to craft this Vision for Planning document which was launched at an event on 14 January attended by the housing minister, Chris Pincher. Eighteen organisations representing housing, planning, transport, the environment, heritage and public health, came together to promote an alternative vision to the government’s Planning for the…

Read More

Our last-minute bid to rescue lost commons

January 4, 2021

We have made 78 applications to rescue lost commons in England’s seven pioneer areas[1]  before the deadline of 31 December 2020. The applications are to register these precious spaces as common land.  If successful, they will give the public the right to walk, and in some cases to ride, on the land and will protect…

Read More

Happy Christmas 2020

December 22, 2020

Watch our general secretary, Kate Ashbrook’s Christmas 2020 message.

Read More

Our new watchdog for Market Harborough

December 3, 2020

We have appointed Peter Pollak as local correspondent for Market Harborough District in Leicestershire.  Peter will keep a close watch on paths, commons, greens and other open spaces in the area and will intervene when they are threatened. Peter was an Engineer Surveyor for the insurance business.  During that time, he undertook surveys of local…

Read More

Livestock diversions

November 10, 2020

The Country Land and Business Association (CLA), the National Farmers’ Union (NFU), the Tenant Farmers’ Assocation and the Countryside Alliance have asked Defra Ministers to legislate to facilitate farmer-managed diversions on public paths to avoid cattle and other livestock. The Ramblers’ website offers a good summary of the position. The society has attended meetings with the CLA…

Read More
Looking north-west over the new green towards the RCV estate

We win new green and new path for Witney

November 10, 2020

We have won a new town green and public footpath for the people of Witney in west Oxfordshire.  These public amenities are on land at Coral Springs, between Thorney Leys and the A40, which four years ago was developed by Richmond Care Villages (RCV). In building an estate of retirement homes RCV illegally blocked a…

Read More

Our new activist for the Isle of Wight

November 10, 2020

We have appointed Mrs Helen Slade as our local correspondent for the Isle of Wight.  Helen, who lives in Ventnor, will be the society’s eyes and ears, keeping a close watch on paths, commons, greens, open spaces and the progress of the coastal path on the Island, and intervening as necessary. Helen has recently retired…

Read More

Misdeeds and no deeds

October 27, 2020

On 28 September the Prime Minister pledged to protect an additional 400,000 hectares (1,562 square miles) of England’s countryside to support ‘the recovery of nature’.  A fine promise but what does it mean? The recovery of nature is immensely important, so too is the recovery of people.  The pandemic has shown the value of local…

Read More