Latest News

Green spaces, open places

April 14, 2021

The Open Spaces Society’s call to candidates in the Senedd election, 6 May 2021. The pandemic has shown the importance of public paths and open spaces for recreation and relaxation, now is the time to invest in them for the health and well-being of the people of Wales. The Open Spaces Society[1] calls on candidates…

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photo of Freemans Meadow (c) N Chadwick, Creative Commons Licence

Henley Town Council shows lead in creating village greens

April 8, 2021

‘Henley-on-Thames Town Council has set an excellent example in registering its land as village greens[1] and thus protecting it for ever.’  So declared Kate Ashbrook, the general secretary of the Open Spaces Society, in an online talk to Henley Rotary Club on Tuesday (2 March). ‘The council, which is a member of the society, has…

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Tony on Trawden recreation ground with Pendle Hill behind, Christmas day family meet-up outdoors, 2020

Tony Greaves (27 July 1942-23 March 2021)

April 6, 2021

We are deeply saddened that our vice-president, Tony (Lord) Greaves, has died suddenly at his home at Trawden in Lancashire. He was 78. Tony was a Liberal Democrat peer and Pendle Borough Councillor, who spoke out strongly on behalf of the environment and people’s rights. He entered the House of Lords as a life peer…

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Countryside Code’s seventieth anniversary

April 1, 2021

The Open Spaces Society’s involvement with the Countryside Code precedes its first publication, as the Country Code, in 1951. In fact, with the Ramblers, we instigated it. The society has always wanted to see greater access to the countryside and everyone to feel welcome there. In 1945 we noted that one of the difficulties we…

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

More take than give

March 18, 2021

Our general secretary, Kate Ashbrook, considers the new threat to open spaces from the government’s proposed demolition of the planning system. Step by step our cherished planning system is being destroyed. Last year we slated the government’s white paper, Planning for the Future. Now government intends to extend permitted development rights. This would mean that…

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We criticise sinister Police Bill

March 15, 2021

Along with 250 other organisations, we have signed an open letter to the Home Secretary and Justice Secretary calling on government to rethink the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill which has its second reading on 15 and 16 March, having been introduced to parliament only days before. The bill creates numerous new criminal offences,…

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New public freedoms at Dorchester on Thames, Oxon

March 15, 2021

We are celebrating new greens and paths at Dorchester on Thames in Oxfordshire, after a long campaign which we fought alongside local residents. A new landowner, Mr Keith Ives, has removed fences erected by his predecessor.  These denied public access to the historic Dyke Hills, a scheduled Iron Age settlement, and Day’s Lock Meadow beside…

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Open Spaces Society’s new watchdog in Teignbridge, Devon

February 11, 2021

We have appointed Nicholas Whitsun-Jones as its local correspondent for the Teignbridge district in Devon. Nicholas will be the society’s guardian in the area of Teignbridge District Council (including part of the Dartmoor National Park), keeping a close watch on paths, commons, greens and open spaces. Nicholas was in the legal profession for 45 years,…

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Our new watchdog in the West Midlands

January 26, 2021

We have appointed Jack Jennings as our local correspondent for Sutton Coldfield and North Warwickshire. Jack will act for the society in keeping a close watch on paths, commons, greens and open spaces in his area and defending them from adverse change. Jack has lived in Sutton Coldfield for much of his life, and has…

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Make new greens for London

January 19, 2021

We have called for developers and landowners in London to dedicate open spaces as town greens, to protect them in perpetuity and to give local people rights of recreation there. The society has responded to the London Mayor’s consultation on the Public London Charter, which sets out the rights and responsibilities for users, owners and…

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