Latest News

We fight threat to Guildford’s unique commons

August 9, 2015

We have written to Guildford Borough Council’s head of development, Barry Fagg, calling on the council to abandon its plan to use three areas of common land close to Guildford in Surrey as Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANG). This is proposed to compensate for development close to the Special Protection Area (SPA) of Whitmoor Common…

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Hundreds enjoy Big Picnic on Wycombe Rye to celebrate 50th anniversary of its rescue

August 9, 2015

We are delighted that the Big Picnic, which we organised jointly with the High Wycombe Society on Wycombe Rye on Sunday 9 August, was a huge success. The event was to celebrate the rescue of The Rye from a road scheme 50 years ago as well as marking our 150th anniversary. Says Jackie Kay, the…

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Championing Chiltern commons

July 27, 2015

As the Chilterns Commons Project comes to an end, project officer Rachel Sanderson reflects on its achievements. In the south-east of England, a large number of small commons provide important recreational facilities for people in urban and semi-urban communities.  Over the last four years, the Chilterns Commons Project, run by the Chilterns Conservation Board, has…

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Giving Henley a hand for Entente Florale

July 20, 2015

At the invitation of our member Henley-on-Thames Town Council our general secretary Kate Ashbrook spent part of our 150th birthday on Sunday meeting the judges of the Entente Florale European competition.  The council had entered for the award, having been nominated by a Britain in Bloom judge. The ten judges came from all over Europe,…

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Lord Eversley’s message to members, 19 July 1915

July 20, 2015

One hundred years ago, on 19 July 1915 the fiftieth anniversary of the society’s foundation, our president and chairman Lord Eversley gave an address to the members.  It is published in a 16-page booklet marked, for some reason, ‘confidential’.  Here is a summary of what he said. On the 19th of July, 1865, fifty years ago…

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Wycombe Rye rescue a milestone in the Open Spaces Society’s 150-year history

July 16, 2015

‘We saved the incomparable Wycombe Rye 50 years ago through joint local and national effort,’ said Kate Ashbrook, our general secretary. Kate was giving a talk to the High Wycombe Society on 15 July. Says Kate: ‘In 1964 the secretary of the newly-formed Wycombe Rye Protection Society, forerunner of the High Wycombe Society, wrote to…

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Our AGM marks ups and downs for green spaces

July 9, 2015

‘The Open Spaces Society has never been more needed in its 150-year history than today, as green spaces are increasingly threatened.’  So declared our vice-president, open spaces expert Paul Clayden, at our annual general meeting today (9 July). ‘The society played a significant role in rescuing Welsh village greens from the damaging law which has prevented their…

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Commercial camping development on national park common is rejected

July 7, 2015

The Planning Inspectorate has rejected an application from Woodland Property Services to erect 10 camping pods (wooden cabins on post-mounted bases) on Blawith Common in the Lake District National Park. The society, with the Friends of the Lake District, the Lake District National Park Authority, Blawith and Subberthwaite Parish Council, Blawith and Subberthwaite Commoners’ Association…

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We condemn drive for ‘self-funding countryside estate’ in Surrey

July 6, 2015

We have condemned the cuts to national and local government services for countryside and public enjoyment. Our general secretary, Kate Ashbrook, was the keynote speaker at the annual general meeting of the Surrey branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) on 3 July. Kate was particularly critical of Surrey County Council’s intention to…

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Land at Breaky Bottom open to the public

June 30, 2015

After a long battle by Action for Access and the Open Spaces Society, walkers can now use some of the Access Land (1) at Breaky Bottom, near Lewes. A new stile has been erected. The grid reference is TQ404054 (2). Our local correspondent Chris Smith says “The new access land is a great place to…

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