Latest News

Looking north-west over the new green towards the RCV estate

We win new green and new path for Witney

November 10, 2020

We have won a new town green and public footpath for the people of Witney in west Oxfordshire.  These public amenities are on land at Coral Springs, between Thorney Leys and the A40, which four years ago was developed by Richmond Care Villages (RCV). In building an estate of retirement homes RCV illegally blocked a…

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Our new activist for the Isle of Wight

November 10, 2020

We have appointed Mrs Helen Slade as our local correspondent for the Isle of Wight.  Helen, who lives in Ventnor, will be the society’s eyes and ears, keeping a close watch on paths, commons, greens, open spaces and the progress of the coastal path on the Island, and intervening as necessary. Helen has recently retired…

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Misdeeds and no deeds

October 27, 2020

On 28 September the Prime Minister pledged to protect an additional 400,000 hectares (1,562 square miles) of England’s countryside to support ‘the recovery of nature’.  A fine promise but what does it mean? The recovery of nature is immensely important, so too is the recovery of people.  The pandemic has shown the value of local…

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Agricultural grants must be properly enforced

September 8, 2020

We have criticised as weak and ineffective the government’s proposals for monitoring and enforcing compliance with agricultural grants.   In its consultation, Financial Assistance Statutory Instrument, the government proposes to monitor the use of public funds for delivering public goods as part of the new agricultural grant programme post Brexit.  However, it only proposes to…

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Open Spaces Society fights stopping up of public highway in Mumbles

September 7, 2020

We have objected to plans by the Welsh Government to stop up a public highway on the foreshore side of Oyster Wharf at Mumbles, Swansea. The Transport Orders Branch of the Welsh Government has made an order under section 247 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to stop up the highway—but it can…

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We call for promotion of access at heart of future agricultural support

August 21, 2020

We have called for public access to form a core component of future agricultural support. Responding to Defra’s Environmental Land Management policy discussion document, the society says that ‘the public must be able to see, enjoy and learn from what is achieved with spending raised from their taxes.’  It has proposed that public spending on…

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Expanding our freedoms

August 21, 2020

The Open Spaces Society has long campaigned for responsible freedom to roam away from public paths in England and Wales.  The Countryside and Rights of Way (CROW) Act 2000 went some way towards achieving this, but the rights were only for walkers and were limited to registered commons, and mapped areas of mountain, moor, heath…

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Last chance for Forty Acres

August 11, 2020

Trudy Dean, chair of West Malling Parish Council, a member of the society, writes of the threat to a magnificent local open space. Forty Acres is a beautiful open area of gently rising farmland to the south of the A20 London Road in the Parish of East Malling and Larkfield in Kent. Confusingly running to…

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We fight threat to Brent River Park, Ealing

August 3, 2020

We have objected to an application to erect a massive leisure centre with residential development and other proposals on the edge of Brent River Park in Ealing. The site is on the existing Gurnell Leisure Centre and the application has been submitted by Be:Here Ealing Ltd, which has connections with Ealing Council. We are concerned…

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Historic Faversham footpath saved

July 9, 2020

One of our members, Andrew Osborne of Faversham in Kent, has played a crucial role in saving a public footpath from being deleted from Kent County Council’s definitive map of public paths.  The decision removes the final legal obstacle to the opening of a continuous walk along Faversham Creek, for which Andrew has campaigned for…

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