Latest News

How do we protect open spaces closer to home?

April 28, 2020

The think tank, ‘Centre for Cities’, which focuses on improving the economies of the UK’s largest cities and towns, published an article at the start of our lock down period, ‘How easy is it for people to stay at home during the coronavirus pandemic?‘  It concluded that the provision of public open space, such as…

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We celebrate common land registration in Cornwall

April 28, 2020

We are celebrating Cornwall Council’s addition of 4.84 hectares of Carrine and Goodern Commons to the register of common land, thus securing the public’s right to walk here and protecting the land from development. The land is on the road from Penwethers to Pound Lane, three kilometres south-west of Truro. Common is land, originally, with…

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We oppose Clapham Common fencing plan

April 26, 2020

We have objected to an application from Lambeth Borough Council for fencing on Clapham Common. The council wants to erect temporary steel fencing around the ‘events site’ on the common for three weeks, from 15 August to 5 September, with the intention of holding festivals there.  Because the land is common, it must have the…

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Blackbushe aerodrome – court halts removal of land from Yateley Common

April 23, 2020

We are delighted that the High Court has quashed an inspector’s decision to remove land at Blackbushe aerodrome, Hampshire, from the register of common land. Mr Justice Holgate gave judgment1 today  following a judicial review brought by Hampshire County Council, the commons registration authority, against the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural…

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Blackburn group win support of borough council for new Asset of Community Value

April 1, 2020

A much loved open space at Whitehall Road in Blackburn, has been awarded Asset of Community Value (ACV) status by Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council following a campaign by the Whitehall Road Neighbourhood Group.  The benefit of achieving ACV listing is that this becomes a material planning consideration, a matter that should be taken into…

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Commons victory at historic Berkhamsted

March 12, 2020

We are delighted that Hertfordshire County Council has added a piece of Berkhamsted Common to the common-land register.  This will protect a further part of this historic common from development. The land is 0.17 hectares to the north of Britwell Drive, near Berkhamsted Golf Club (about one kilometre north-west of Berkhamsted). The land was subject…

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Cornish common restored

March 5, 2020

Thanks to the painstaking research of our commons re-registration officer in Cornwall, Tomas Hill, we have restored six hectares to the commons register.  The land is at Trevellion Moor, on the west side of Bokiddick Downs and Lowertown Moor, a kilometre west of Helman Tor and three kilometres north of Luxulyan.  The land consists of…

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The rise and fall of village greens

March 5, 2020

The Supreme Court has dealt a bitter blow to communities wanting to protect their open spaces. As a result of a judgment last December concerning two green spaces, in Lancashire and Surrey, it has become much more difficult to protect land and assert rights of recreation on it. Our general secretary, Kate Ashbrook, follows the…

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Commons past and present – Downley local history group event

March 5, 2020

Our commons re-registration officer Frances Kerner gave an illustrated talk on 29 February 2020 at Downley Memorial Hall entitled, Downley Common, its Origin and Survival within the Manor of West Wycombe. The hall was packed, with 92 people present. Frances’s talk traced the general history of common land, including its survival and loss. As an…

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Government plans could make innocent trespassers into criminals

March 3, 2020

The government’s proposals to strengthen police powers against trespass could make criminals of innocent people visiting the countryside.  We have expressed this fear in our response to the Home Office consultation on the criminalisation of trespass in England and Wales. The Conservative manifesto declared ‘We will make intentional trespass a criminal offence.’  Before this, the…

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