Latest News

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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Campaign to reopen ancient Gloucestershire route

June 12, 2018

We are pressing Gloucestershire County Council to reopen the ancient Bentley Lane, which runs to the east of Southam village onto Cleeve Common. The lane has been blocked by gates since 2010. The old track is laid out in the Bishops Cleeve Inclosure Award of 1836 with a width of 30 feet. It leads directly…

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Worcestershire Council rules out Trimpley Green loss

May 29, 2018

We have welcomed the decision of Worcestershire County Council to reject an application to deregister part of Trimpley Green, common land near Kidderminster. The application was made to the council in July 2016, in relation to land east of the pond on the Habberley road. The application proposed to deregister common land adjacent to Crofton…

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Common-land swap defeated at Therfield Heath

May 21, 2018

With other objectors we are delighted to have defeated the proposed exchange of common land at Therfield Heath, near Royston in Hertfordshire. The Conservators of Therfield Heath and Greens wanted to swap 1.65 acres of common land off Sun Hill for the same area of woodland over a mile away. The proposed exchange was to…

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Post-Brexit funding for farmers must include support for public access and common land

May 8, 2018

We have called for post-Brexit funding for agriculture to include support for public access to the countryside. The society has responded to the government’s consultation, Health and Harmony: the future for food, farming and the environment in a Green Brexit, a precursor to the Agriculture Bill. The government has said that public money must pay…

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Badley Moor common, Norfolk, accessible at last

May 3, 2018

Dereham Walkers Are Welcome and the society are delighted that Mr Anema, the owner of Badley Moor common near Dereham in Norfolk, has erected a kissing-gate, giving access to the common. After some time when there was no effective access, a stile had been put up, but this failed to meet Natural England’s accessibility criteria…

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We remain vigilant for ancient Hertfordshire route

April 3, 2018

We are concerned that an ancient public route at Broxbourne in Hertfordshire remains under threat from development plans by Broxbourne School.  The intention is to demolish the old school and build a new academy, with 150 houses on the old school site. Broxbourne School has recently submitted amended plans, and the society notes that while…

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We fight loss of views from Oxfordshire footpath

March 29, 2018

We have objected to a massive development, proposed by Gladman Developments Ltd, on open land north of Caversham. South Oxfordshire District Council refused planning consent for 245 residential dwellings and other works on land off Peppard Road, at Emmer Green. Gladman has appealed and the appeal is to be heard in May. We have joined…

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