Latest News

Common-land swap approved for Walton Heath, Surrey

July 21, 2014

The Planning Inspectorate has approved plans by Walton Heath Golf Club to swap an area of common land known as Beecham’s Field on the golf course for a site some distance away. The land to be taken is 80,000 square metres on the west side of the golf course (near the car-park) which the golf…

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Isle of Wight to have coastal access at last

July 10, 2014

We are delighted that the government has today (10 July) announced that the Isle of Wight will be included in the coastal-access provisions of Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009. The Act excludes from the coastal access process any island from which it is not possible to walk from the mainland. Such islands must be…

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We deplore green space ‘sop’

July 9, 2014

Our vice-president, the open spaces expert Paul Clayden, condemned the government’s Local Green Space designation as a sop to local people, and no substitute for village and town greens. He was addressing our annual general meeting in London on 8 July. Paul said: ‘The Local Green Space, introduced in the government’s National Planning Policy Framework…

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Luddesdown’s tribute to Pat Wilson

July 4, 2014

The Luddesdown Rights of Way Group has organised a finger-post in memory of the late Pat Wilson, our vice-president and local correspondent, pointing down the Bowling Alley at Luddesdown in Kent’s North Downs. In 1984 local people and national organisations, with Pat in the vanguard, defeated an attempt by the military to take over the…

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Defra’s figures for village greens show it has acted on dogma not evidence

July 1, 2014

Figures published today by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) do not show that there was a need to change the law on village greens.  Last year the government passed the Growth and Infrastructure Act which outlaws the registration of land as a green where it is threatened with development, arguing that…

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Plan dropped for massive wind-turbines in Cumbrian beauty-spot

June 27, 2014

Banks Renewables has abandoned its plan to build three massive wind-turbines near Killington Reservoir in Cumbria (near junction 37 on the M6 motorway)—the gateway to the Lake District and the Western Fells of the Yorkshire Dales. The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, called in the application last March after South…

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Outdoor organisations call on MPs and peers to “champion outdoor recreation” for the good of the nation

June 11, 2014

Ten leading outdoor organisations are joining together in Westminster today (11 June) to urge parliamentarians to factor the benefits of outdoor recreation into their manifestos and policies ahead of the next general election. The event, organised by the British Mountaineering Council (BMC) and the All Party Parliamentary Group for Mountaineering, co-chaired by David Rutley MP…

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Residents of Westgate-on-Sea, Kent, win new green

June 11, 2014

Residents of Westgate-on-Sea, near Margate in Kent, have won a new village green, following four years of hard work and a public inquiry. The 2.44-acre field, consisting of rough grass with a wooded perimeter, has been enjoyed by local people for informal recreation since the end of the war. Sited north of Ursuline Drive, the…

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The tide has turned

June 10, 2014

Our general secretary, Kate Ashbrook, writes about worrying changes in legal opinion. Fifteen years ago the Sunningwell case clarified the law on village greens in the public interest. Since then a series of cases has gone the same way—but now the tide has turned. Already this year we have had three judgments about greens in…

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Our manifesto for green spaces

June 9, 2014

We have published our manifesto for the 2015 Westminster election. We are calling on politicians of all parties to support these policies. Good-quality paths and green spaces are vital to people’s well-being and they support the economy too. So we are urging politicians to adopt policies which protect and promote commons, greens, other open spaces…

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