Latest News

Photo of ancient long house at Bryngwyn Bach on Rhos Gelli Gron common, close to the proposed fence-line. © Alan Richards, Creative Commons Licence

We oppose fence across historic landscape in Ceredigion

October 20, 2020

We have objected to an application from the Caron Estate for a 1,589-metre fence across Rhos Gelli Gron common, near Tregaron in Ceredigion. The estate applied for the fencing under section 38 of the Commons Act 2006.  The application is determined by the Planning Inspectorate on behalf of the environment minister.  The Open Spaces Society…

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The Skreen development site Google street view

We fight proposed development on Powys common

October 15, 2020

The society has objected to a planning application for a dwelling, garage, workshop, driveway and associated works on and adjacent to a common near Erwood in Powys. Mr Richard King of Skreen Cottage, Llandeilo Graban, has applied for the development with no mention of the fact that the land affected is a registered common, The Skreen,…

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Coronavirus (Covid-19) Update

October 14, 2020

We thank you for visiting our website and hope that you remain safe and well. Our office is only partially staffed at the moment, so responding to telephone calls or postal enquiries will take a little longer than usual, however you will find plenty of information and advice on this website, and we can readily…

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Landscapes Review – what next?

October 8, 2020

Shoulder to shoulder with other influential NGO organisations including Campaign for National Parks, National Trust, Ramblers, RSPB, Youth Hostels Association, CPRE, The Wildlife Trusts and the British Mountaineering Council, and now a year since the publication of the Landscapes Review, we have written to Rt Hon George Eustice MP, Secretary of State for the Environment,…

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We fight unfair land-swap at Clyne Common

September 22, 2020

As Britain’s leading pressure-group for common land [1], we are angry that the Duke of Beaufort’s Somerset Trust, the owner of part of Clyne Common, south-west of Swansea, has reapplied for a land swap, having withdrawn a similar controversial application in April. The trustees of the Somerset Trust have applied to the Welsh environment minister,…

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Agricultural grants must be properly enforced

September 8, 2020

We have criticised as weak and ineffective the government’s proposals for monitoring and enforcing compliance with agricultural grants.   In its consultation, Financial Assistance Statutory Instrument, the government proposes to monitor the use of public funds for delivering public goods as part of the new agricultural grant programme post Brexit.  However, it only proposes to…

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Minister refuses to extend deadline for registering common land

September 3, 2020

We are dismayed that environment minister John Gardiner has refused to extend the deadline for re-registering lost commons beyond the end of December 2020. The society is concerned that, in seven English local authority areas1, the deadline for registering lost commons is 31 December, less than four months away.  The research to uncover lost commons…

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Expanding our freedoms

August 21, 2020

The Open Spaces Society has long campaigned for responsible freedom to roam away from public paths in England and Wales.  The Countryside and Rights of Way (CROW) Act 2000 went some way towards achieving this, but the rights were only for walkers and were limited to registered commons, and mapped areas of mountain, moor, heath…

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Taking people out of planning

August 10, 2020

With many other environmental charities, we have condemned the government’s proposals to speed up the planning process and reduce democratic involvement. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has published a consultation, Planning for the Future, with closing date of 29 October 2020. This proposes a total rewrite of the rules first set out…

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New charter for Wales’s open spaces

August 3, 2020

Today we call for a better deal for open spaces in Wales.  We have published a charter and have written to Julie James, the Minister for Housing and Local Government, and all of Wales’s planning authorities. We want the government to introduce a national plan and standards for open spaces and to revise and update…

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