Latest News

A framework for green space

February 18, 2020

In autumn 2010, the Department for Communities and Local Goverment (DCLG) and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) agreed to ‘create a new designation to protect green areas of particular importance to local communities’.  However, by April 2011, the government has made no progress whatever in developing its ideas. The Open Spaces…

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Open Spaces Society to advise Welsh Access Reform Group

January 28, 2020

The Welsh Government is looking at the future of access in Wales, following the consultation in 2017 and the subsequent announcement that it would set up an Access Reform Group. It has also established three expert groups to inform the Access Reform Group and invited expressions of interest. We are delighted to report that the…

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We back campaign for access to water

January 21, 2020

The society is backing the Clear Access, Clear Waters campaign by British Canoeing, to increase the public’s opportunities to gain access to water. The campaign aligns with the society’s objectives of promoting public enjoyment of rivers, canals and lakes, whether in or on the water or providing access to it. British Canoeing is campaigning for…

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Our general secretary wins bronze award

January 16, 2020

Our general secretary, Kate Ashbrook, has won bronze in The Great Outdoors magazine’s Campaigner of the Year Award, following a vote from members of the public. Described by one voter as ‘inspirational in her constant drive to keep footpaths open’, Kate came third to environmental campaigners Greta Thunberg and Chris Packham. Says Kate: ‘I am…

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Missed opportunity to protect open spaces in Wales

November 14, 2019

We have responded to the Welsh government’s consultation on its National Development Framework (NDF) and raised concerns about the impact on the landscape and tourism, and the missed opportunities for protecting open space. The NDF is a new development plan which will set the direction for development in Wales from 2020 to 2040.  It contains…

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The Ethical Gift

November 10, 2019

Would you like to find a present for outdoorsy friends or family with a conscience? Ethical and environmentally friendly gifts are increasingly popular and rightly so. The Open Spaces Society is a small charity that fights to conserve and promote our environment by seeking protection for paths and open spaces, so that everyone can enjoy…

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Our case officer Nicola Hodgson celebrates 20 years with Open Spaces Society

November 7, 2019

In 1999, solicitor Nicola Hodgson was instructed by Sunningwell Parish Council, in Oxfordshire, to register a piece of land as a village green – thereby preventing two new houses being built on the site which had, for decades, been popular with families and dog walkers. The case went to the House of Lords, resulting in…

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Bullies beware!

October 31, 2019

Through our 154-year history, the Open Spaces Society has developed a proud record of legal action. We fought the enclosures, and defended commoners’ rights; we have tested the law in the courts many times. We have suffered losses, but we also have landmark victories to our name. One such victory was our challenge to Dorset…

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Northern downfall of Black Mountain from Waun Lefrith

Len Clark, 1916 – 2019

October 24, 2019

Our vice-president Len Clark has died aged 103. Len was a pillar of strength to, and wise critic of, numerous organisations: the Youth Hostels Association (YHA), National Trust, Campaign for National Parks and ourselves. In 1978 he became our commons liaison officer, a roving researcher who travelled England and Wales on his Honda 50 motorbike…

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Edgar Powell, 1936 – 2019

October 24, 2019

Our vice-president Edgar Powell has died aged 83. Edgar was our local correspondent for parts of Herefordshire and Worcestershire for 24 years (1992-2016), a trustee (1995-2003) and vice-chairman (2002-3). It is impossible to quantify all he did for the society and our members. Edgar was born in Colwall, Herefordshire but spent most of his life…

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