Latest News

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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Finsbury Park

Finsbury Park is vital for our health and well-being

August 13, 2019

‘Finsbury Park, and other open spaces in London and beyond, are vital for our health and well-being.’ So said Kate Ashbrook, our general secretary, at celebrations to mark Finsbury Park’s 150th anniversary. Kate was taking part in a discussion group, with Catherine West, MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, and Hugh White, chair of the…

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Marsden Moor walkers National Trust

The society in action – Six months on the National Trust council

July 18, 2019

Society trustee Graham Bathe is a council member of the National Trust and former director of the Foundation for Common Land. He gave a talk at our recent AGM about his role representing the society on the National Trust council. Governance Legally, the governance of the National Trust is in the hands of about 12…

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Urban commons – Brighton conference update

July 8, 2019

Nicola Hodgson, will be speaking tomorrow at Brighton University at a one day conference on “methodologies for engagement and four urban commons”. The day will bring together representatives, stakeholders and users of urban commons with experts in open space management and methods of public engagement. It is part of the “ Wastes and Strays project” …

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