Latest News

Missed opportunity to protect open spaces in Wales

November 14, 2019

We have responded to the Welsh government’s consultation on its National Development Framework (NDF) and raised concerns about the impact on the landscape and tourism, and the missed opportunities for protecting open space. The NDF is a new development plan which will set the direction for development in Wales from 2020 to 2040.  It contains…

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The Ethical Gift

November 10, 2019

Would you like to find a present for outdoorsy friends or family with a conscience? Ethical and environmentally friendly gifts are increasingly popular and rightly so. The Open Spaces Society is a small charity that fights to conserve and promote our environment by seeking protection for paths and open spaces, so that everyone can enjoy…

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Our case officer Nicola Hodgson celebrates 20 years with Open Spaces Society

November 7, 2019

In 1999, solicitor Nicola Hodgson was instructed by Sunningwell Parish Council, in Oxfordshire, to register a piece of land as a village green – thereby preventing two new houses being built on the site which had, for decades, been popular with families and dog walkers. The case went to the House of Lords, resulting in…

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Bullies beware!

October 31, 2019

Through our 154-year history, the Open Spaces Society has developed a proud record of legal action. We fought the enclosures, and defended commoners’ rights; we have tested the law in the courts many times. We have suffered losses, but we also have landmark victories to our name. One such victory was our challenge to Dorset…

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Edgar Powell, 1936 – 2019

October 24, 2019

Our vice-president Edgar Powell has died aged 83. Edgar was our local correspondent for parts of Herefordshire and Worcestershire for 24 years (1992-2016), a trustee (1995-2003) and vice-chairman (2002-3). It is impossible to quantify all he did for the society and our members. Edgar was born in Colwall, Herefordshire but spent most of his life…

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Finsbury Park

Finsbury Park is vital for our health and well-being

August 13, 2019

‘Finsbury Park, and other open spaces in London and beyond, are vital for our health and well-being.’ So said Kate Ashbrook, our general secretary, at celebrations to mark Finsbury Park’s 150th anniversary. Kate was taking part in a discussion group, with Catherine West, MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, and Hugh White, chair of the…

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Marsden Moor walkers National Trust

The society in action – Six months on the National Trust council

July 18, 2019

Society trustee Graham Bathe is a council member of the National Trust and former director of the Foundation for Common Land. He gave a talk at our recent AGM about his role representing the society on the National Trust council. Governance Legally, the governance of the National Trust is in the hands of about 12…

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Securing Open Spaces

June 11, 2019

Our case officer, Nicola Hodgson, advises how you can win open space as part of development in England – Local Green Space (LGS) does not exist in Wales  Town or village green (TVG) Registration of land under section 15(2) Commons Act 2006. Anyone may apply to the commons registration authority to register land as TVG…

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Land for the Many Report

June 4, 2019

The society welcomes the publication today of Land for the Many, a report commissioned by the Labour Party. The party will consider the proposals as part of its policy development ahead of the next general election. The report places land at the heart of political debate and discussion, and it proposes significant changes to land…

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Better access in Wales?

May 28, 2019

Deputy Minister for Housing and Local Government, Hannah Blythyn, has made an announcement about improving public access in Wales. This follows the government’s consultation in 2017 to which there were more than 16,000 responses. The minister extols the benefits of an accessible countryside and the importance of supporting rural areas to maximise revenue from tourism.…

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