Latest News

Open Spaces Society to advise Welsh Access Reform Group

January 28, 2020

The Welsh Government is looking at the future of access in Wales, following the consultation in 2017 and the subsequent announcement that it would set up an Access Reform Group. It has also established three expert groups to inform the Access Reform Group and invited expressions of interest. We are delighted to report that the…

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Paul Clayden, 5 November 1941 – 1 January 2020

January 28, 2020

We are very sad to report that our vice-president, Paul Clayden, died suddenly aged 78 on new year’s day.  A former general secretary of the society (1976-84) he was the author of many of our books and information sheets, and a kind and helpful adviser to members on their open space issues. Paul was born…

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Is your DMMO application eligible for a BHS grant?

January 22, 2020

Are you engaged in researching historical ways to add to the definitive map before the 2026 cut-off date? The British Horse Society (BHS) is offering a bounty of £100 to anyone who applies to a local authority to record a bridleway, restricted byway or byway open to all traffic — or to upgrade a footpath…

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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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Farndon Fields public bridleway blocked

We deplore Leicestershire County Council’s failure to protect public bridleway near Market Harborough

December 30, 2019

We are deeply concerned about the failure of Leicestershire County Council to protect public bridleway A105, at Farndon Fields to the west of Market Harborough, from development. The society has been supporting its local member Peter Pollak in his effort to get the route reopened. Harborough District Council, gave planning consent to Avant Homes to…

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Bob Embleton / Footpath to Trehumfrey Farm

We save Shropshire footpath from diversion

November 19, 2019

We have saved 100 metres of a footpath at Berrington, about four miles south-east of Shrewsbury, from being moved. Shropshire Council promoted the proposal on behalf of the landowner. Because we objected to the formal order, it was referred to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and the Planning Inspectorate determined…

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Mass protest against missing Thames-side footbridge at Fawley

November 19, 2019

On Saturday 16 November more than 150 people, from Henley-on-Thames and beyond, joined a rally to protest at the year-long closure of Fawley footpath 12 due to a missing footbridge at Fawley Court in Buckinghamshire. The closure is forcing walkers onto the dangerous A4155 Henley-to-Marlow road. The protest was organised by the Ramblers Henley and…

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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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We fight Henley Festival footpath closure

November 7, 2019

We have objected to plans by the Henley Festival for the temporary closure of the Thames Path National Trail in July 2020. Every year since 1998 the Festival has applied to Wokingham Borough Council, the highway authority, for the temporary closure of the path before, during and after the Festival—and the council has agreed. The…

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