Latest News

Abolition of the Commons Commissioners: our response

July 22, 2010

The Environment Secretary, Caroline Spelman, has announced that she intends to abolish the Commons Commissioners (22 July). We are sad to see the passing of the Commons Commissioners, who played an important role in determining the common-land maps of today, a band of erudite lawyers who travelled the length and breadth of England and Wales…

Read More

Public inquiry opens into mountain-top wind factory

July 21, 2010

‘The unique landscape of Mynydd y Gwair should be treasured not trashed.’ So says the Open Spaces Society(1) as the public inquiry opens into RWE Npower Renewables’ application to build 19 wind turbines on the lovely mountain top of Mynydd y Gwair, eight miles north of Swansea. The inquiry started on Tuesday 20 July. We…

Read More

Dismay at new tennis-courts on common land

July 21, 2010

Three new tennis-courts and other works have been permitted on Therfield Heath Common in Hertfordshire. The Conservators of Therfield Heath, on behalf of Royston Tennis Club, sought consent from the Planning Inspectorate, under section 38 of the Commons Act 2006, for three new and three replacement tennis-courts, lighting columns, a log-cabin clubhouse and mesh fencing…

Read More

Don’t cut the countryside!

July 14, 2010

England’s conservation organisations have joined forces to paint a grim picture of a countryside starved of money by budget cuts. On the 30th anniversary of the Wildlife and Countryside Link, of which the Open Spaces Society is a member, its members have issued an unprecedented warning about what the future would hold should the Government…

Read More

Governments should recognise the ‘secret gems’—our common land

July 13, 2010

‘The governments in England and Wales should recognise that common land matters.’ So declared Paul Clayden, our vice-president, who chaired our annual general meeting on 6 July. ‘Commons are the secret gems in our landscape, ancient places which have remained largely unchanged through history. We are dismayed that the Westminster government is so dilatory about…

Read More

Greens review rejected by experts’ gathering

July 12, 2010

The national seminar on common land and town and village greens on 1 July, at the University of Gloucester, rejected the notion of a wholesale review of the laws for the registration of new greens. Kate Ashbrook, general secretary of the Open Spaces Society, proposed the motion This seminar believes that little change is needed…

Read More

Our founder honoured on Hightown Common

June 30, 2010

We joined the National Trust and the Ringwood and Fordingbridge Footpath Society on 29 June in marking the restoration by the trust of an important seat on Hightown Common in the New Forest. We toasted the society’s founder, Lord Eversley, in whose memory the 40-acre common was acquired in 1929, the year after his death.…

Read More

Chailey Commons to be fenced

June 21, 2010

The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has permitted East Sussex County Council to fence the Chailey Commons at North Chailey, two miles south-west of Newick.(3) The application, to which we objected, was considered at a public inquiry in March 2010, at which the inspector was Mr Peter Millman. The council applied…

Read More

We fight common-land swap on unique Staines Moor

June 16, 2010

We have objected to plans by Heathrow Airport Ltd to take common land and open space at Staines Moor in Surrey for the construction of a new rail-link. The promoters are offering land in exchange, but we consider this to be grossly inadequate. Staines Moor is a unique, medieval landscape, surviving as a previous wilderness…

Read More

Ten-point plan for candidates in Westminster election, May 2010

June 6, 2010

We published our ten-point plan for candidates in the general election, and asked them to sign up to it. Action plan 1. A right of appeal, and a requirement to provide suitable alternative land, before public open space is taken for another purpose 2. Law change to give county and unitary authorities a duty to…

Read More