Latest News

Seventy-fifth anniversary of Home Secretary’s stepping-stones

September 10, 2021

On 11 September 2021 we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the repaired stepping-stones on the North Downs Way, across the River Mole at Burford Bridge, Westhumble, near Dorking in Surrey (grid reference TQ172 512). The land is owned by the National Trust. The stones were replaced by James Chuter Ede, a member of the Open…

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Winter Hill trespass a milestone, but still a long way to go

September 3, 2021

The Winter Hill mass demo in 1896 was a milestone in the history of public access—but we still have a long way to go.’  So declares our general secretary Kate Ashbrook, who will speak on 5 September at the 125th anniversary event of the Winter Hill mass trespass.  Kate also spoke at the centenary event…

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Battlemead Common with view of Cliveden which can be seen from the proposed path

We calls for creation of final link for Maidenhead trail

August 3, 2021

We have called on Windsor and Maidenhead Council to incorporate a permanent, direct path across Battlemead Common, on the north-east side of Maidenhead, into the popular Maidenhead Millennium Walk. Currently walkers are denied access across this magnificent open space and forced to walk around the edge.  The land is owned by the council. The Millennium…

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We appoint Devon paths-expert to new role

July 27, 2021

The society has appointed Devon paths-expert Helen Clayton to the new post of case officer (rights of way). The society created this post to address the increasing number of issues concerning public paths in England and Wales. Helen will champion public paths for the society, and respond to the many issues raised by its members,…

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Little comfort from updated planning policies

July 22, 2021

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has published an updated version of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). There are six main changes but we are disappointed that the revisions do not reflect the submission we made on the consultation. Says our case officer Nicola Hodgson: ‘We remain concerned that the government’s…

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Government’s response to Glover Review is lacklustre

June 24, 2021

The Open Spaces Society is disappointed at the government’s initial response to the Glover Review on England’s protected landscapes.  This response is long overdue. The report, written by a panel led by Julian Glover, contains ambitious proposals.  It was published in September 2019 and the then environment secretary, Theresa Villiers, welcomed the findings.  Today the…

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Patricia approaches her apogee, Lyme Cage. Image John Rogers

Patricia’s heroic hike

June 10, 2021

Schoolgirl Patricia Wittbom chose to raise money for the society by a challenge walk. She tells her story. My name is Patricia Wittbom, I’m 11 years old and I am in year 7 at Tytherington School, Macclesfield, Cheshire. During the last year of covid lockdown I was lucky to be able to go out each…

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Rhos Gelli Gron common, by Peter Foulkes

Ceredigion common saved from ugly fencing

May 11, 2021

We are delighted that a planning inspector has rejected an application from the Caron Estate for a 1,589-metre fence across Rhos Gelli Gron common, near Tregaron in Ceredigion. The estate applied for the fencing under section 38 of the Commons Act 2006.  The application is determined by the Planning Inspectorate on behalf of the environment…

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Detail of the plaque for the bench

Walkers’ champion honoured with bench

May 11, 2021

Some of David Bounds’ family and friends met on 30 April to unveil a bench in his honour on the hilltop footpath between Aston and Remenham.  David, who died in October 2019, aged 87, was the author of the Rambling for Pleasure series of walking guides. David, who lived in Twyford, spent much of his…

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New activist in Kirklees

April 29, 2021

We have appointed Stephen Hill as our local correspondent for Kirklees in West Yorkshire. Stephen will keep a close watch on paths, commons, greens and open spaces. Stephen lives in East Bierley, four miles south-east of Bradford.  He has recently retired from a long career in civil engineering, working on many large infrastructure projects in…

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