Latest News

Defra undermined

June 10, 2021

Our general secretary, Kate Ashbrook, comments on the environment secretary’s recent announcements. The environment secretary George Eustice was on a high with his big announcements from Delamere Forest in Cheshire on 18 May. He grandly promised ‘to halt the decline of nature’ with a ‘legally-binding’ target for species abundance (to be defined) by 2030, restoration…

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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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Rhos Gelli Gron common, by Peter Foulkes

Ceredigion common saved from ugly fencing

May 11, 2021

We are delighted that a planning inspector has rejected an application from the Caron Estate for a 1,589-metre fence across Rhos Gelli Gron common, near Tregaron in Ceredigion. The estate applied for the fencing under section 38 of the Commons Act 2006.  The application is determined by the Planning Inspectorate on behalf of the environment…

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Grant a green: The Open Spaces Society’s call to local councils

April 29, 2021

Today we launch our Grant A Green campaign.  The society is to urge local councils in England and Wales voluntarily to register their open spaces as town or village greens[1], to protect them from development and give local people rights of recreation there. It is more important now than ever to secure our green spaces. …

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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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Welsh Government agriculture law must step up for access

April 6, 2021

The Welsh Government’s consultation paper on the future funding for agriculture fails to spell out how subsidies will be directed to securing more and better access, and how grants will be withheld from land managers who abuse the law on public paths and access.  We argued for these objectives in our response to the earlier…

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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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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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EU protection for Welsh commons

February 23, 2021

At the last minute before Brexit was completed the Welsh Government followed the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in applying environmental impact assessment (EIA) regulations to common land. This means that if a development proposal affecting a Welsh common is likely to have a significant effect on the environment, it must be assessed…

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