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We have appointed Ashley Redsell as our local correspondent to watch over the commons of Spelthorne Borough in Surrey.
Ashley will keep a close eye on developments in Spelthorne, and where attempts are made to take over common land, he will work with the borough and county councils, and local residents to prevent this destruction.
Ashley has spent his career as an events director, for international conferences, product and trade launches, exhibitions, and communications programmes. He spent some decades working in the Middle East and Asia before returning to the UK ten years ago. Now Ashley and his wife are largely retired, giving Ashley time to volunteer for the Open Spaces Society.
Ashley is one of more than 200 Commoners of Staines (someone whose house smoke could be seen from St Mary’s church). As such he enjoys rights that local householders have held in Staines since 1065 and, through his support for the Open Spaces Society, he is helping to ensure those rights are available for future generations.
Staines Moor is one of the last remaining pastures of the mediaeval manor of Staines. The Moor has remained unploughed with no fertiliser or pesticides, for 1,000 years, making it an ancient and unique habitat.
Says Ashley: ‘It is a privilege to have grazing and leisure rights on our local common. By keeping those rights alive, we help to ensure that our neighbours and our offspring will have wonderful wildlife and natural ecosystems to appreciate and explore in the future.
‘I look forward to working with the Open Spaces Society to ensure our commons remain open and undeveloped, for all to enjoy.’
Adds Kate Ashbrook, the society’s general secretary: ‘We welcome Ashley as our newest local correspondent, and we are pleased that he will keep a close eye on Spelthorne’s precious commons.’
Header image: Sandro Cenni