Latest News

Our plan to secure urban green spaces for the public 

January 10, 2024

We made a host of recommendations to secure urban green spaces for public enjoyment.    These recommendations have been published by the House of Commons’ Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs Committee, which last year conducted an inquiry into the ecological, environmental, and human benefits of green space, and the most effective solutions to making cities greener…

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We help win the right result for Hamsterley Green, County Durham

September 28, 2023

We have welcomed a decision which will help protect Hamsterley village green, six miles west of Bishop Auckland in County Durham. Hamsterley Parish Council, the owner of the green, with the owners of Green View, a site to be developed for housing, had applied to the environment secretary for permission to deregister part of the…

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Photograph of the Dyke Hills with the landowner, Keith Ives (centre). Louise Aukland (left) and Becky Waller (right) submitted an application for this to be registered as a village green

New village greens at Dorchester on Thames and Little Wittenham, Oxfordshire

October 31, 2022

We are celebrating the registration of two new village green at Dorchester on Thames and Little Wittenham in Oxfordshire.  The greens at the historic Dyke Hills (3.03 hectares), a scheduled Iron Age settlement, and at Day’s Lock Meadow (2.37 hectares) beside the River Thames.  They have been voluntarily registered by a beneficent landowner, Keith Ives.…

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Loss of Longhorsley green refused

October 21, 2022

We have welcomed a decision to retain part of Longhorsley village green, which the parish council wanted to convert to a private driveway. Longhorsley Parish Council wanted to sell off around 54 square metres of Longhorsley green, in this case part of the verge of East Road, in the Northumberland village east of the junction…

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Hertfordshire green to garden gambit rejected

October 21, 2022

We have welcomed a decision to preserve part of Preston recreation ground, in Hertfordshire, which the parish council wanted to convert to a private garden. Preston Parish Council wanted to sell off around 70 square metres of Preston recreation ground, which lies on the west side of Hitchin Road, in the village west of Stevenage. …

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Our new guide to saving green spaces

April 19, 2022

We have published a new edition of Getting Greens Registered, our step-by-step guide to registering land in England and Wales as a town or village green. Once registered, the land is protected from development and encroachment, and local people have rights of recreation there. The new (fourth) edition explains how local people must gather evidence…

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New green secured voluntarily in Dartmouth, Devon

February 4, 2022

We are delighted that the historic community-orchard in Dartmouth, Devon, is now officially a village green.  On 2 February, the society joined an event organised by the Friends of Dartmouth Community Orchard and Dartmouth Town Council to unveil the plaque marking this achievement. Now that the orchard is registered as a green with Devon County…

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Queen's Crescent LGS, Exeter

Vital piece missing from ‘levelling-up’ jigsaw

February 2, 2022

We have criticised today’s announcement on levelling up as a missed chance to rectify the gross inequality of access to local spaces. The Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Michael Gove, has unveiled his ‘levelling-up plan’ without a mention of the importance of local green spaces.  Yet these, which have always been…

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Our justice system undermined

January 26, 2022

Over the last 157 years, the Open Spaces Society has taken pride in successfully using the courts to rectify wrongs affecting commons, greens, other open spaces, and public paths. We also back our members in their legal actions. Now, the Westminster government’s Judicial Review and Courts Bill is set to have a profoundly detrimental effect…

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A step up for England’s protected landscapes

January 20, 2022

The government has, at last, announced its response to the Landscapes Review in England.  The review, led by journalist Julian Glover, was published in September 2019, more than two years ago, and made ambitious recommendations for the future of our national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty. In his foreword to the response Defra…

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