Latest News

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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Firle Estate – tax free and for what?

November 19, 2014

The Firle Estate, near Lewes in East Sussex contains some of the most iconic walking landscape in the country, including the Firle Beacon stretch of the South Downs Way. So it might not surprise you to learn that the Estate has obtained exemption from inheritance tax (2) on nearly all the estate (3) in return…

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Good Hants, bad Hants?

November 12, 2014

Hampshire County Council has a long, solid record in good countryside-management. For decades the council has led in providing better access for all and in countryside interpretation. It owns a number of well-managed country parks, commons and nature reserves. It pioneers a lottery-funded project, Providing Access to Hampshire’s Heritage (PATHH), to recruit and train volunteers…

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We defend village greens in Welsh Government inquiry

November 7, 2014

We have spoken out in defence of village greens in Wales which, we say, are essential to the health and well-being of the Welsh population. We have sent evidence to the Welsh Environment and Sustainability Committee which is inquiring into the principles of the Planning (Wales) Bill. We are concerned that the Welsh Government proposes…

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Hendy wind-turbines conflict with law to protect public rights

November 5, 2014

The society has discovered new information which could jeopardise the Hendy wind-turbine development in outstanding countryside in rural Radnorshire. The land on which Hendy Wind Farm Ltd proposes to erect at least four of the seven turbines, near Llandegley Rocks, Llandrindod Wells, was inclosed by an order for Hendy Bank made in 1885 which provided…

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Peer’s development plan threatens Lake District World Heritage status

November 3, 2014

Jim Lowther, brother of the eighth Earl of Lonsdale, who is custodian of the family’s 117-square-mile estate, is planning to develop common land at White Moss on the A591 between Rydal Water and Grasmere at the heart of the poet Wordsworth’s countryside.  The Lowther estate stretches across Cumbria from Penrith to the Howgill fells—some of…

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