Latest News

Last chance for Forty Acres

August 11, 2020

Trudy Dean, chair of West Malling Parish Council, a member of the society, writes of the threat to a magnificent local open space. Forty Acres is a beautiful open area of gently rising farmland to the south of the A20 London Road in the Parish of East Malling and Larkfield in Kent. Confusingly running to…

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Historic Faversham footpath saved

July 9, 2020

One of our members, Andrew Osborne of Faversham in Kent, has played a crucial role in saving a public footpath from being deleted from Kent County Council’s definitive map of public paths.  The decision removes the final legal obstacle to the opening of a continuous walk along Faversham Creek, for which Andrew has campaigned for…

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We fight access track across Oxfordshire common

July 7, 2020

We have objected strongly to an application for the construction of an access track, 66 metres long, across Baulking Common, near Faringdon in Oxfordshire. Miss Jessica Reid has applied to the Planning Inspectorate for consent under section 38 of the Commons Act 2006 to construct a track across the common.  This would run between Baulking…

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Threat withdrawn to ancient road in South Downs National Park

June 18, 2020

We are delighted that Mr Hugh Sandie of Pegs and Pitches Camping has withdrawn his planning application for a campsite and buildings near Coldwaltham, West Sussex, in the South Downs National Park. The society objected to the development arguing that it conflicted with the purposes of the national park and would have an adverse impact…

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Archive progress

June 16, 2020

The Special Collections team at the University of Reading and the Museum of English Rural Life (the MERL) has been working with the society to care for, and to open, our archive to the public and to potential researchers. The completed cataloguing work, and the collected oral histories of key staff members, will reveal our…

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We deplore threat to ancient road in South Downs National Park

May 15, 2020

We have objected to a planning application for a campsite and buildings at Coldwaltham, West Sussex, in the South Downs National Park.  The application was made by Mr Hugh Sandie of Pegs and Pitches Camping.   Our particular concern is the threat to the adjoining Colebrook Lane.  We have criticised West Sussex County Council for…

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Kent parish council dedicates a green

May 5, 2020

We have commended our member East Malling and Larkfield Parish Council in Kent for dedicating land as a village green.  Kent County Council approved the registration in February.   The one-acre land is known as Whimbrel Village Green and is an area of open space within a housing estate (the streets of which are named…

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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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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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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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