Latest News

New book to celebrate our commons

March 30, 2015

We have published a new book, Common Land, to celebrate the ancient common land of England and Wales. It is written by our chairman Graham Bathe. Says Graham: ‘Most of us are familiar with commons. We may have played on them when young and visit them with our own children. Commons are woven into our…

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Historic Gloucestershire field is saved as a village green

March 17, 2015

We are delighted that our member, the Nympsfield Village Green Action Group, has succeeded in registering The Leaze in Nympsfield, six miles south-west of Stroud in Gloucestershire, as a village green. Mr Ian Crossland of the group applied to Gloucestershire County Council, the greens registration authority, to register The Leaze in 2009. At that time…

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Welsh Committee calls for better protection for village greens in Planning Bill

February 2, 2015

We are delighted that a National Assembly for Wales Committee is calling for better protection of village greens. The report of the Environment and Sustainability Committee, which is scrutinising the Planning (Wales) Bill, states that ‘the provisions of the Bill in relation to town and village greens, as currently drafted, have caused us some concern’.…

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Common landscapes

January 20, 2015

Today a taskgroup of 27 organisations launches its report Landscapes for Everyone (see below) in parliament, calling on politicians to champion our unique British landscapes. We shall be there. Our special message is that we must look after the 2,212 square miles of common land in England and Wales. Do this and we secure a…

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Thomas Hardy would breathe a sigh of relief

January 15, 2015

We are delighted that Kingston Maurward College has withdrawn its plans to build 70 houses on parkland at Thomas Hardy’s hamlet of Lower Bockhampton, Dorset. Hardy was born at nearby Higher Bockhampton in 1840. The society was among hundreds of objectors to the development, including the Ramblers, the Thomas Hardy Society and the Lower Bockhampton…

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Our 150th birthday

December 31, 2014

This year, 2015, we celebrate our 150th anniversary—the first national conservation body to do so. Founded on 19 July 1865 as the Commons Preservation Society we first saved London commons from destruction and 30 years later created the National Trust—and we are still fighting. Now the society campaigns throughout England and Wales to protect common…

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Landscapes for everyone

December 23, 2014

Great Britain’s diverse landscapes need champions. A consortium of national organisations has taken up the challenge. We have a shared vision of why our unique British landscapes should be protected for the benefit of current and future generations and what Government action is needed. Read more here. The official launch of ‘Landscapes for everyone’ will…

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Speak up for commons, open spaces and footpaths in East Sussex

December 8, 2014

The Open Spaces Society is urging everyone who walks, rides or cycles on the commons, open spaces and footpaths of East Sussex to tell East Sussex County Council how important those facilities are to them. The council is conducting a survey of usage of these facilities. You can find it on the consultations page of…

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Thomas Hardy would turn in his grave

November 25, 2014

We have objected to plans by Kingston Maurward College to build 70 houses on parkland at Thomas Hardy’s hamlet of Lower Bockhampton, Dorset. Hardy was born at nearby Higher Bockhampton in 1840. The society has written to West Dorset District Council pointing out that the development would have a devastating effect on the beautiful village…

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We back Dereham Town Council’s action to protect Norfolk common

November 24, 2014

We have congratulated Dereham Town Council in Norfolk for its robust action in defence of the lovely Badley Moor Common. The council has written to the landowner, Mr Anema, asking him to open up the blocked access to the common. The gate leading to the common has been locked for more than three years and…

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