Latest News

Mass protest against missing Thames-side footbridge at Fawley

November 19, 2019

On Saturday 16 November more than 150 people, from Henley-on-Thames and beyond, joined a rally to protest at the year-long closure of Fawley footpath 12 due to a missing footbridge at Fawley Court in Buckinghamshire. The closure is forcing walkers onto the dangerous A4155 Henley-to-Marlow road. The protest was organised by the Ramblers Henley and…

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We fight Henley Festival footpath closure

November 7, 2019

We have objected to plans by the Henley Festival for the temporary closure of the Thames Path National Trail in July 2020. Every year since 1998 the Festival has applied to Wokingham Borough Council, the highway authority, for the temporary closure of the path before, during and after the Festival—and the council has agreed. The…

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We fight development on Hampshire common

October 29, 2019

We have objected to an application from Mr Christopher Ball to build three houses and an access road on Odiham Common in Hampshire. The land, at Potbridge, is registered common land. Any development on common land requires the consent of the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, in addition to any planning…

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The meaning of ‘curtilage’

October 28, 2019

On 12 June this year, inspector Alan Beckett granted an application to deregister around 46 hectares of Blackbushe aerodrome at Yateley Common.  The application, made by Blackbushe Airport Ltd (BAL), was made under paragraph 6 of schedule 2 to the Commons Act 2006, on the basis that the land was ‘covered by a building or…

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Leigh Common saved from development

October 28, 2019

Through court action the society has saved part of Leigh Common from developers. Leigh Common is a nine-hectare woodland and grassland nature reserve in Colehill, near Wimborne—the first common land in Dorset to be registered in 1967 and given permanent protection.  In 2016 developers Gleeson Developments Ltd applied to Dorset County Council (now Dorset Council)…

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Northern downfall of Black Mountain from Waun Lefrith

Len Clark, 1916 – 2019

October 24, 2019

Our vice-president Len Clark has died aged 103. Len was a pillar of strength to, and wise critic of, numerous organisations: the Youth Hostels Association (YHA), National Trust, Campaign for National Parks and ourselves. In 1978 he became our commons liaison officer, a roving researcher who travelled England and Wales on his Honda 50 motorbike…

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Bovingdon Common Hertfordshire

We help to save part of Hertfordshire common

October 24, 2019

We are delighted that we have helped to save part of a Hertfordshire common. The land is a wide roadside verge of High Street, in the village of Bovingdon, four miles south-west of Hemel Hempstead. Dacorum Borough Council wanted to use 140 square metres of the common for six, surfaced, car-parking bays, near the junction…

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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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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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Urban commons – Brighton conference update

July 8, 2019

Nicola Hodgson, will be speaking tomorrow at Brighton University at a one day conference on “methodologies for engagement and four urban commons”. The day will bring together representatives, stakeholders and users of urban commons with experts in open space management and methods of public engagement. It is part of the “ Wastes and Strays project” …

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