Latest News

Threat to valued footpath at Tisbury, Wiltshire

August 30, 2018

We have objected to a planning application from the Wardour School governors to move a public footpath (Tisbury footpath 83) which runs across a field adjacent to the school. The school wants to fence in the path with steel post-and-wire mesh. The school has previously tried to move the path under the Highways Act 1980,…

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Fencing plan for Fylingdales Moor common

August 28, 2018

We have objected to a proposal to erect over five kilometres of fencing on Fylingdales Moor common in the North York Moors National Park. The application has been made by the Manor of Fyling Court Leet which wants to graze livestock there. Because the fencing is on common land, the applicant must obtain the consent…

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Our local correspondents gather in the Lickey Hills

August 23, 2018

Over two days in mid August, 29 local correspondents, trustees and members of staff met at the Hillscourt conference centre, Rednall, on the edge of the Lickey Hills country park south-west of Birmingham.  It was an opportunity to swap experiences and ideas and to learn more about the range of activities in which the society…

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Council challenged over 50-year failure to comply with legislation

August 7, 2018

A question was asked at the full meeting of Powys County Council last month by Peter Newman, our local correspondent for Powys, about the failure of the council to comply with the 1968 Countryside Act. This laid a duty on highway authorities to signpost all public paths where they leave a metalled road. Peter went…

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Buxton footpath in Norfolk open at last

July 26, 2018

We are pleased that Norfolk County Council has belatedly replaced unlawful stiles with gates on Buxton with Lamas footpath 4, three miles south east of Aylsham. The stiles were in appalling condition and difficult to negotiate, and they had not been authorised on this public path (under section 147 of the Highways Act 1980)(1). The…

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Welsh access on hold

July 24, 2018

Last year we responded to a consultation from the Welsh Government, Taking forward Wales’s sustainable management of natural resources. Chapter 4 was about access to the outdoors. We welcomed its proposal for extended access to coast and cliff, riverbanks and lakesides, an all-Wales digital map of access, and the repeal of the 2026 closure of…

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Common-land swap at Gorseinon, Swansea

July 16, 2018

We are disappointed that Welsh Ministers have approved plans by Persimmon Homes to swap an area of Mynydd Garngoch Common at Gorseinon, north-west of Swansea. Persimmon has been permitted to strike 0.71 hectares of common land from the register and use it for development, replacing it with 0.81 hectares of land which the Open Spaces…

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We criticise new road-junction on Leigh Common, Dorset

July 12, 2018

We have criticised the Secretary of State for Environment for granting consent for further works on Leigh Common near Wimborne in Dorset.  However, we welcome the views of his inspector that there are ‘clear policy reasons to reject an application for this proposal’ under the procedure adopted by the developers, even though she went on…

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Parks under unprecedented pressure

July 4, 2018

‘Our public parks are under unprecedented pressure, 50 years after a law which was intended to protect and improve the countryside close to people’s homes.’ So declared our vice-president, Paul Clayden, at our annual general meeting in London today (5 July). ‘This week [3 July] we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Countryside Act 1968,…

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Countryside Act at 50

July 3, 2018

On 3 July we celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Countryside Act 1968, an important piece of legislation.  The Open Spaces Society, with the Ramblers, played a major role in its genesis.  Our general secretary, Kate Ashbrook, explains its history and significance. The National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949, which led to…

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