Latest News

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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Londoners asked for their views on green spaces

August 20, 2013

Londoners are being asked for their views on how green spaces in the capital are managed in the light of increasing concerns that budget cuts and building developments will put them at risk. The London Assembly environment committee has undertaken a survey which will allow participants to give their priorities for green spaces and to…

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Land saved for the community in Weston, Bath

August 8, 2013

The residents of Weston, Bath, and the Open Spaces Society are delighted that four hectares known as ‘The Field Behind Purlewent Drive’ in Weston have been registered as a village green. This means that local people have the right to enjoy the land for informal recreation and it is protected from development. Local people initiated…

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We slate Bristol’s lack of traffic management which threatens the downs

July 31, 2013

We have slated Bristol City Council’s lack of traffic management which is threatening the city’s green spaces. This follows last week’s Development Control Committee decision to allow Bristol Zoo to park on the Downs for a further three years. Kate Ashbrook, our general secretary, said: ‘Yet again Bristol’s councillors have failed to take action to…

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