Latest News

Bob Embleton / Footpath to Trehumfrey Farm

Covid-19 Update

March 27, 2020

27 March 2020 Access to green spaces and public right of way use The government’s priority is to save lives and the best way to protect yourself and others from illness is to stay at home. However, exercise is still important for people’s physical and mental wellbeing, so the government has said people can leave…

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Welsh government allows closure of some paths and access land

March 26, 2020

The Welsh government has introduced emergency legislation which enabled certain bodies to close identified public paths and access land because they create a risk of spreading coronavirus. The bodies had to close the paths by noon on 25 March 2020. The bodies (known as ‘relevant bodies’) entitled to do this are: county or county borough…

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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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Cornish common restored

March 5, 2020

Thanks to the painstaking research of our commons re-registration officer in Cornwall, Tomas Hill, we have restored six hectares to the commons register.  The land is at Trevellion Moor, on the west side of Bokiddick Downs and Lowertown Moor, a kilometre west of Helman Tor and three kilometres north of Luxulyan.  The land consists of…

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Commons past and present – Downley local history group event

March 5, 2020

Our commons re-registration officer Frances Kerner gave an illustrated talk on 29 February 2020 at Downley Memorial Hall entitled, Downley Common, its Origin and Survival within the Manor of West Wycombe. The hall was packed, with 92 people present. Frances’s talk traced the general history of common land, including its survival and loss. As an…

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Archive progress

February 27, 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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Slow the traffic on unfenced commons

February 25, 2020

‘Minchinhampton and Rodborough Commons on the Cotswold escarpment in Gloucestershire are unique—and we need to slow the traffic there.’  So declared Kate Ashbrook, our general secretary,  at a public meeting called by the Minchinhampton and Rodborough Commons Advisory Committee last week (20 February). ‘All common land is special because it is a remnant of the…

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Open Spaces Society to advise Welsh Access Reform Group

January 28, 2020

The Welsh Government is looking at the future of access in Wales, following the consultation in 2017 and the subsequent announcement that it would set up an Access Reform Group. It has also established three expert groups to inform the Access Reform Group and invited expressions of interest. We are delighted to report that the…

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Paul Clayden, 5 November 1941 – 1 January 2020

January 28, 2020

We are very sad to report that our vice-president, Paul Clayden, died suddenly aged 78 on new year’s day.  A former general secretary of the society (1976-84) he was the author of many of our books and information sheets, and a kind and helpful adviser to members on their open space issues. Paul was born…

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Our general secretary wins bronze award

January 16, 2020

Our general secretary, Kate Ashbrook, has won bronze in The Great Outdoors magazine’s Campaigner of the Year Award, following a vote from members of the public. Described by one voter as ‘inspirational in her constant drive to keep footpaths open’, Kate came third to environmental campaigners Greta Thunberg and Chris Packham. Says Kate: ‘I am…

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