Latest News

New book to celebrate our commons

March 30, 2015

We have published a new book, Common Land, to celebrate the ancient common land of England and Wales. It is written by our chairman Graham Bathe. Says Graham: ‘Most of us are familiar with commons. We may have played on them when young and visit them with our own children. Commons are woven into our…

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New tool-kit to save open spaces

March 16, 2015

We have launched our campaign to save England’s much-loved open spaces. We have published an open spaces tool-kit for communities to protect their green spaces, and have called on planning authorities to respond positively to requests to save local spaces. Our tool-kit consists of three handbooks: How to win local green space through neighbourhood plans;…

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We celebrate our 150-year struggle for open spaces

March 9, 2015

We have published our new book, Saving Open Spaces, the story of our 150-year struggle for commons, greens, open spaces and paths.  It is written by our general secretary for 31 years, Kate Ashbrook. The society was formed in 1865 as the Commons Preservation Society to rescue London’s threatened commons—Hampstead Heath, Wimbledon Common and Epping…

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Saving our green spaces

September 22, 2014

If you want to save your open space you need to get involved. Our general secretary Kate Ashbrook tells you how.   Communities need to be on their toes if they want to rescue their much-loved spaces from developers. The opportunity to register them as town or village greens has recently diminished in England, and…

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We fear that government will privatise land of public importance

June 30, 2014

We are concerned that the government’s Infrastructure Bill could lead to the loss of publicly-important land.  The bill, currently in the House of Lords, appears to allow ministers to transfer land of public value to the Homes and Communities Agency and other bodies, and thence to developers.  We fear that this could not only be…

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Deregulation Bill will help to get lost paths on the map

January 29, 2014

The Deregulation Bill, which is due for second reading in the House of Commons on Monday 3 February, will help to speed up claims for historic rights of way in England. The bill follows the recommendations in Stepping Forward, the report produced in 2010 by Natural England’s stakeholder working group on unrecorded highways. The group…

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Government’s plans for common land biased against public

January 9, 2014

We have criticised as biased Defra’s announcement today (9 January) that it will bring into effect only part of the law for updating the common-land registers, to favour landowners against the public interest. The environment ministers Lord de Mauley and Dan Rogerson have said that the government will implement part 1 of the Commons Act…

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Welsh Government wants to pave the way for development of green spaces

December 18, 2013

We have condemned the Welsh Government’s draft Planning Bill in which it proposes to pave the way for development of open spaces by changing the law for registering land as a town or village green. The Welsh Government wants to make it impossible to apply to register land as a green where that land is…

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Government’s miserable lack of progress on green-space promise

November 20, 2013

Wildlife and Countryside Link’s Nature Check report, signed by 41 organisations, shows a miserable lack of progress on implementing the promised Local Green Space (LGS) designation. Nature Check analyses the government’s 25 commitments on the natural environment against a traffic-light system. It reveals that nine are red, 12 are amber and only four are green.…

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Village-green system not being increasingly abused: our response to Defra

October 1, 2013

We have responded robustly to Defra’s press release today (1 October), New measures to increase rural home-building. This is about the new regulations in England which have been introduced today to restrict applications to register land as a town or village green. Defra claims that the new measures will stop the village-green system from being…

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