Latest News

New charter for Wales’s open spaces

August 3, 2020

Today we call for a better deal for open spaces in Wales.  We have published a charter and have written to Julie James, the Minister for Housing and Local Government, and all of Wales’s planning authorities. We want the government to introduce a national plan and standards for open spaces and to revise and update…

Read More

We fight threat to Brent River Park, Ealing

August 3, 2020

We have objected to an application to erect a massive leisure centre with residential development and other proposals on the edge of Brent River Park in Ealing. The site is on the existing Gurnell Leisure Centre and the application has been submitted by Be:Here Ealing Ltd, which has connections with Ealing Council. We are concerned…

Read More

New charter for open spaces

August 3, 2020

Today we call for a better deal for open spaces.  We have published a charter and have written to Robert Jenrick, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, and to all of England’s planning authorities. We call on government to introduce a national plan and standards for open spaces, and to place…

Read More

Our take on the environment secretary’s speech

July 28, 2020

Last week the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, George Eustice, made an end-of-term speech.  It did not inspire confidence. A few bits of new money were promised.  For instance, he announced £4m for a two-year pilot to bring ‘green prescribing’ to four urban and rural areas that have been hit the…

Read More

A toothless watchdog?

July 28, 2020

Our case officer Nicola Hodgson is keeping a close watch on the Environment Bill.  This was introduced to parliament on 30 January 2020 with second reading on 26 February.  The public-bill committee’s scrutiny was cut short by the covid-19 crisis, and the committee was expected to report to parliament by the end of June, but…

Read More
Bob Embleton / Footpath to Trehumfrey Farm

Coronavirus (Covid-19) Update

July 6, 2020

We thank you for visiting our website and hope that you remain safe and well. Our office is only partially staffed at the moment, so responding to telephone calls or postal enquiries will take a little longer than usual, however you will find plenty of information and advice on this website, and we can readily…

Read More

Secret deal on the Downs

June 30, 2020

We have supported the Downs for People in Bristol in its exposure of a secret deal between Bristol City Councillors and the Merchant Venturers to allow Bristol Zoo to continue to use the magnificent Durdham Downs for car parking until 2039.  The society has opposed the parking for many years; the council’s renewal of the…

Read More

Threat withdrawn to ancient road in South Downs National Park

June 18, 2020

We are delighted that Mr Hugh Sandie of Pegs and Pitches Camping has withdrawn his planning application for a campsite and buildings near Coldwaltham, West Sussex, in the South Downs National Park. The society objected to the development arguing that it conflicted with the purposes of the national park and would have an adverse impact…

Read More

Vocal for local

June 17, 2020

Our general secretary Kate Ashbrook considers life for the Open Spaces Society during lockdown. As lockdown began, I foolishly thought we would have time to catch up with all those long-deferred jobs.  I was wrong: we have been busier than ever. Developers are not deterred by a pandemic: open spaces remain at risk, perhaps more…

Read More
Hanwell fence The fence after local people had broken through to the canal

Hanwell land-grab

June 16, 2020

Our member Steven Toft describes the fight by Hanwell residents to wrest their open space from land-grabbers In April 2019, residents of Hanwell in Ealing, west London, were dismayed that part of their park had been fenced off. St Margaret’s open space sits by the Grand Union Canal and is part of Brent River Park.…

Read More