0Rights of Way
In the past year we have responded to more than
for guidance on protection & management
Examples of our key recent successes:
- celebrated a new village green in Surrey, following a lengthy campaign by the Open Spaces Society.
- celebrated the addition to the commons registers of two pieces of land each in Cornwall and Hertfordshire.
- welcomed decisions which will help protect Hamsterley village green, in County Durham, and Chobham Common and Dunsfold Common in Surrey.
- saved part of Richmond Low Moor common in North Yorkshire from deregistration after threatening legal action against the county council.
- celebrated the government’s decision to scrap the 2026 deadline for recording historic paths in England.
- congratulated Friends of Dartmouth Community Orchard for voluntarily registering the historic community-orchard in Dartmouth, Devon, as a village green.
- welcomed the decision of the supreme court not to grant leave to appeal against a decision that Blackbushe aerodrome on Yateley Common in Hampshire should remain registered as common land.
- pleased that Swansea City and County Council has withdrawn its application to deregister common land at Tutts Head, Bracelet Bay, Mumbles
- enabled Oyster Wharf, part of the seafront at Mumbles, Swansea, to remain a public place
- helped to prevent footpaths at Cookham in Windsor and Maidenhead Borough from being diverted onto inferior routes.
We have also responded to:
- slated the government’s Growth Plan which we fear will damage the environment, public access, and local democracy and appears to conflict with the ambitions and targets of the Environment Act, and the 25-year environment plan.
- criticised the announcement from The Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities on the ‘levelling-up plan’ as a missed chance to rectify the gross inequality of access to local spaces
- given oral evidence to the House of Lords Committee investigating land use in England, calling for public access to be central to government thinking and for equality of access to green space.
- lobbied ministers to ensure that public access is included in the Environmental Land Management Schemes in England, and the Sustainable Farming Scheme in Wales.
We have also:
- launched our new lantern-slide website featuring almost 1,000 images from our archives held at The Museum of English Rural Life (MERL).
- joined the Better Planning Coalition to win improvements to the Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill, to ensure that the planning system functions in a democratic way and ensures that communities are viable and sustainable.
- published a new edition of Getting Greens Registered, our step-by-step guide to registering land in England and Wales as a town or village green.
- launched the seventh edition of Our Common Land by Paul Clayden, with revisions and updates reflecting the many changes in the law which have taken place since the previous edition in 2006.
- gathered at our local correspondents’ two-day conference near Bromsgrove in Worcestershire to update each other on the law and guidance, and to swap ideas and knowledge.
- taken part in the first summit of young people campaigning for a better deal for nature and public access.