Latest News

Old allies rekindle the campaign for national parks

June 1, 2021

With a government announcement on the review of England’s protected landscapes imminent, our general secretary Kate Ashbrook reflects on the seventieth anniversary of national parks and the work still to be done. Two years ago, I enjoyed a wonderful day in the Peak District—a place I love and to which I long to return once…

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High court puts a stop to zoo parking on Bristol downs

May 24, 2021

We have welcomed a high court order which, by 2022, will bring to an end decades of parking on Clifton and Durdham Downs to accommodate visitors to Bristol zoo. We celebrate the successful outcome of a High Court challenge to zoo parking on the Downs in Bristol.  The group Downs for People, a member of…

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Green spaces, open places

April 14, 2021

The Open Spaces Society’s call to candidates in the Senedd election, 6 May 2021. The pandemic has shown the importance of public paths and open spaces for recreation and relaxation, now is the time to invest in them for the health and well-being of the people of Wales. The Open Spaces Society[1] calls on candidates…

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Make London a more natural capital

April 13, 2021

The Open Spaces Society has joined 17 other environmental groups in urging the candidates in the London Mayoral election to back ‘A more natural capital’. The manifesto calls for support for our Charter for Open Spaces, and the dedication of green spaces as town or village greens. It advocates ten new district parks, and opposition…

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Countryside Code’s seventieth anniversary

April 1, 2021

The Open Spaces Society’s involvement with the Countryside Code precedes its first publication, as the Country Code, in 1951. In fact, with the Ramblers, we instigated it. The society has always wanted to see greater access to the countryside and everyone to feel welcome there. In 1945 we noted that one of the difficulties we…

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Government’s missed opportunity to protect local open spaces

March 25, 2021

We are dismayed that the government proposes, in wholesale changes to the planning system, to undermine the protection afforded to green spaces. The society has raised these concerns in its response to the consultation from the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government on amendments to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).  The NPPF, among…

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Brent River Park summer 2020

Open Spaces Society delighted that Brent River Park, Ealing, is saved

March 25, 2021

We are delighted that Ealing Council’s planning committee on 17 March resolved to save Brent River Park.  It rejected Be:Here Ealing Ltd’s application to erect a massive leisure centre, six high-rise housing blocks and other development on the Gurnell Leisure Centre site next to the park. Although the council’s planning officer recommended conditional approval, the…

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Looking north-west over the new green towards the RCV estate

More take than give

March 18, 2021

Our general secretary, Kate Ashbrook, considers the new threat to open spaces from the government’s proposed demolition of the planning system. Step by step our cherished planning system is being destroyed. Last year we slated the government’s white paper, Planning for the Future. Now government intends to extend permitted development rights. This would mean that…

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We criticise sinister Police Bill

March 15, 2021

Along with 250 other organisations, we have signed an open letter to the Home Secretary and Justice Secretary calling on government to rethink the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill which has its second reading on 15 and 16 March, having been introduced to parliament only days before. The bill creates numerous new criminal offences,…

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Statement on criminal trespass

January 19, 2021

We have joined with eight other organisations in a letter to the Home Secretary, condemning plans to make trespass a criminal offence.  Our letter comes ahead of the publication of the government’s Police Powers and Protections Bill which will enact the Conservative Party’s manifesto commitment to ‘make intentional trespass a criminal offence’. The society has expressed…

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