Latest News

John Underhill-Day, 1943-2018

October 28, 2018

Kate Ashbrook writes: We are sad to report the untimely death of John Underhill-Day at the age of 74. He was an excellent all-round naturalist with expertise in common land, and a good friend to the society. John was born in St Albans, Hertfordshire, and educated at Lancing College in West Sussex, which he hated.…

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We fight common-land swap at the Canyons

September 26, 2018

We have objected to an application from Peakman Ltd to remove part of Mynydd Llanhilleth Common from the common-land register. This popular common is near Abertillery in south Wales. As part of its plan to extract aggregates from the nearby quarry, Peakman wants to widen the existing Blaen y Cwm road and create parking bays.…

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Our clash with the military over threat to Cumbrian commons

August 29, 2018

We are set to clash with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) at the forthcoming public inquiry into the government’s application to deregister three large upland commons in Cumbria: Burton & Warcop fells, Murton and Hilton. This would turn the commons into private land and the application threatens to be the largest inclosure of common land…

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Fencing plan for Fylingdales Moor common

August 28, 2018

We have objected to a proposal to erect over five kilometres of fencing on Fylingdales Moor common in the North York Moors National Park. The application has been made by the Manor of Fyling Court Leet which wants to graze livestock there. Because the fencing is on common land, the applicant must obtain the consent…

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Protests over unacceptable damage to Clapham Common

August 23, 2018

The society is appealing to Lambeth Council not to allow another six-week long Winterville festival on Clapham Common in south London. We consider it shocking that Winterville is planned to take place again, when the Common has still not recovered from the damage caused by last year’s festival.  The so-called ‘events area’ on the common,…

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Our local correspondents gather in the Lickey Hills

August 23, 2018

Over two days in mid August, 29 local correspondents, trustees and members of staff met at the Hillscourt conference centre, Rednall, on the edge of the Lickey Hills country park south-west of Birmingham.  It was an opportunity to swap experiences and ideas and to learn more about the range of activities in which the society…

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Green light for Sevenoaks Greensand Commons Project, Kent

August 22, 2018

We are delighted that Sevenoaks District Council, Kent Wildlife Trust and other partners have won a National Lottery grant of £483,600 for the Sevenoaks Greensand Commons heritage project in Kent. The project, which we have supported from the start, aims to restore the commons as important open spaces with their fascinating history, abundance of wildlife…

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We fight degradation of Naphill Common, Bucks

July 31, 2018

We have objected to a planning application adjacent to Naphill Common in the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The proposal is to erect three houses in place of one at Heatherlands on Downley Road. Naphill is about three miles north-west of High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire. This application replaces a similar one which was submitted…

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Government’s planning charter fails to protect open spaces

July 26, 2018

We are dismayed that the revised Natural Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), which was published on 24 July, gives no additional protection to open spaces, beyond a tiny improvement in wording. The society had objected in the draft to the restrictive wording accompanying the designation of land as local green space (LGS).  The draft stated that…

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Common-land swap at Gorseinon, Swansea

July 16, 2018

We are disappointed that Welsh Ministers have approved plans by Persimmon Homes to swap an area of Mynydd Garngoch Common at Gorseinon, north-west of Swansea. Persimmon has been permitted to strike 0.71 hectares of common land from the register and use it for development, replacing it with 0.81 hectares of land which the Open Spaces…

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