Latest News

We fight devastation of Swansea commons

November 27, 2013

We have sent a strong objection to plans to build 16 wind turbines with associated infrastructure on Mynydd y Gwair and adjoining commons, eight miles north of Swansea. RWE npower renewables has planning permission for the development but, because it is to be sited on registered common land, the developer needs the additional consent of…

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Government’s miserable lack of progress on green-space promise

November 20, 2013

Wildlife and Countryside Link’s Nature Check report, signed by 41 organisations, shows a miserable lack of progress on implementing the promised Local Green Space (LGS) designation. Nature Check analyses the government’s 25 commitments on the natural environment against a traffic-light system. It reveals that nine are red, 12 are amber and only four are green.…

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Presentation to winners of OS Award 2013

November 14, 2013

Our general secretary, Kate Ashbrook, was delighted to visit Widmer Fields in Buckinghamshire recently to present our Open Space Award 2013 to Grange Area Trust for their campaigning work to save the fields which have been threatened many times with development. The Trust, which was established with the aim of conserving the 16-hectare fields as…

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Sir Robert Hunter, 1844-1913

November 4, 2013

6 November 2013 is the centenary of the death of Robert Hunter, the society’s solicitor from 1868 to 1882. Robert Hunter was an early luminary of the Commons Preservation Society (CPS), as the Open Spaces Society was first known. He later became solicitor to the General Post Office and founded the National Trust. He was…

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We object to Defra’s plans to justify development

November 4, 2013

We have objected to plans by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) for ‘biodiversity offsetting’, by which alternative sites and habitats are provided to replace those lost through development. The society responded to Defra’s consultation Biodiversity offsetting in England, green paper. We believe that offsetting will lead to a net loss of…

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Inclosure revived

October 31, 2013

Our general secretary, Kate Ashbrook, writes about the revival of the inclosure movement.  A century and a half ago we thought the inclosures were coming to an end—about the time that the Open Spaces Society was formed. Indeed, I said as much in Japan recently to an international audience on commons, and commiserated with those…

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New law could ban public from open spaces and paths

October 29, 2013

We have called on Peers to challenge provisions in the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill which empower local authorities to restrict people’s use of public spaces in England. The Bill has its second reading in the House of Lords on 29 October. The Bill enables a local authority to make a Public Spaces Protection…

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Another nail in the village greens’ coffin

September 12, 2013

We have warned communities throughout England that on 1 October new laws take effect which will further erode their rights to save their green spaces by registering them as a town or village green. The society fears that the changes will be particularly detrimental at a time when open space for communities is so vulnerable.…

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We back Whitstable campaign group’s call local green space

August 23, 2013

We have backed our member, the Whitstable Beach Campaign, in its call for Whitstable Beach in Kent to be designated as a Local Green Space in Canterbury City Council’s Local Plan.  Very few such spaces have yet been designated under the government’s National Planning Policy Framework, but we believe that Whitstable Beach fulfils the criteria…

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We object to further threat to green spaces

August 21, 2013

We have objected to the government’s plans to make it even more difficult to register land as a town or village green in England, following the harsh restrictions already imposed by the Growth and Infrastructure Act earlier this year. The society has responded to a consultation by the Department for Communities and Local Government and…

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