Latest News

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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We fight fencing plan on Ugthorpe Common

October 8, 2019

The society has objected to an application from the Mulgrave Estate for nearly a mile of new fencing on Ugthorpe Common near Whitby in the North York Moors National Park.  This is in addition to a retrospective application to replace more than two miles of fencing on the common. The estate applied to the Secretary…

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Insider hacks: Public access and rights of way guidance the Government doesn’t want you to see

August 13, 2019

The Government has progressively reduced the amount of information available to the public on the web. Sometimes it has done this by rewriting guidance so that it is easier to understand — but sometimes it has just removed guidance altogether, either because it thinks there is insufficient interest, or because no-one is left to update…

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