Latest News

New activist in Kirklees

April 29, 2021

We have appointed Stephen Hill as our local correspondent for Kirklees in West Yorkshire. Stephen will keep a close watch on paths, commons, greens and open spaces. Stephen lives in East Bierley, four miles south-east of Bradford.  He has recently retired from a long career in civil engineering, working on many large infrastructure projects in…

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Open Spaces Society’s new watchdog in Teignbridge, Devon

February 11, 2021

We have appointed Nicholas Whitsun-Jones as its local correspondent for the Teignbridge district in Devon. Nicholas will be the society’s guardian in the area of Teignbridge District Council (including part of the Dartmoor National Park), keeping a close watch on paths, commons, greens and open spaces. Nicholas was in the legal profession for 45 years,…

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Our new ‘eyes and ears’ for north Dorset

January 11, 2021

We have appointed Keith Yarwood as our local correspondent for north Dorset. Keith will be our eyes and ears, keeping a close watch on paths, commons, greens and open spaces in the former North Dorset District Council area. Keith is also vice-chair of Stourpaine Parish Council.  He is familiar with checking the state of public…

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Our new watchdog for Market Harborough

December 3, 2020

We have appointed Peter Pollak as local correspondent for Market Harborough District in Leicestershire.  Peter will keep a close watch on paths, commons, greens and other open spaces in the area and will intervene when they are threatened. Peter was an Engineer Surveyor for the insurance business.  During that time, he undertook surveys of local…

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Our new activist for the Isle of Wight

November 10, 2020

We have appointed Mrs Helen Slade as our local correspondent for the Isle of Wight.  Helen, who lives in Ventnor, will be the society’s eyes and ears, keeping a close watch on paths, commons, greens, open spaces and the progress of the coastal path on the Island, and intervening as necessary. Helen has recently retired…

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Speak up for commons, open spaces and footpaths in East Sussex

December 8, 2014

The Open Spaces Society is urging everyone who walks, rides or cycles on the commons, open spaces and footpaths of East Sussex to tell East Sussex County Council how important those facilities are to them. The council is conducting a survey of usage of these facilities. You can find it on the consultations page of…

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The old ways of Melbourne second edition cover

Local correspondent authors new edition of Melbourne path history title

May 19, 2020

Our local correspondent for south Derbysire and north west Leicestershire since 2010, Barry Thomas, has updated his book ‘The old ways of Melbourne – the history of public rights of way in a Derbyshire village’. Barry describes the nature of public rights of way and the history of the path network in the parish of…

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Our local correspondent takes action over fenced off Lewes Racecourse bridleway

November 1, 2016

Chris Smith, our local correspondent for Brighton and Lewes, is taking action to claim the full width of a well-used and important bridleway on the South Downs near Lewes Racecourse buildings. Chris has reported that most of the bridleway past the racecourse buildings has been fenced off since June this year and comments: “The part…

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Commons: Unclaimed land and adverse possession

July 22, 2021

The Open Spaces Society has been defending open spaces in England and Wales since 1865. This fact sheet covers the following information about the law of ‘adverse possession’ which in particular circumstances allows someone to take possession of land, if they occupy it for 12 years without the owner’s consent.   Introduction Finding out who…

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Rights of Way: Getting Decent Widths in Path Diversion Orders

April 2, 2019

Getting Decent Widths in Path Diversion Orders – by Chris Beney, OSS local correspondent and trustee   A failure, A success – but how wide is it? Defra has guidance here and The Planning Inspectorate has advice notes here. Context Very few paths have their widths properly defined. Many paths are being restricted or fenced-in,…

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