Latest News

Our general secretary wins bronze award

January 16, 2020

Our general secretary, Kate Ashbrook, has won bronze in The Great Outdoors magazine’s Campaigner of the Year Award, following a vote from members of the public. Described by one voter as ‘inspirational in her constant drive to keep footpaths open’, Kate came third to environmental campaigners Greta Thunberg and Chris Packham. Says Kate: ‘I am…

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Supreme Court overrides rights of local communities on village greens

December 12, 2019

We have expressed deep sympathy for our members, Janine Bebbington and the Moorside Fields Community Group in Lancaster, following the Supreme Court judgment(1) on 11 December rejecting the registration of the fields as a village green.  See our summary of the judgment here. This will have a huge impact on the ability of local communities…

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Missed opportunity to protect open spaces in Wales

November 14, 2019

We have responded to the Welsh government’s consultation on its National Development Framework (NDF) and raised concerns about the impact on the landscape and tourism, and the missed opportunities for protecting open space. The NDF is a new development plan which will set the direction for development in Wales from 2020 to 2040.  It contains…

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The Ethical Gift

November 10, 2019

Would you like to find a present for outdoorsy friends or family with a conscience? Ethical and environmentally friendly gifts are increasingly popular and rightly so. The Open Spaces Society is a small charity that fights to conserve and promote our environment by seeking protection for paths and open spaces, so that everyone can enjoy…

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Our case officer Nicola Hodgson celebrates 20 years with Open Spaces Society

November 7, 2019

In 1999, solicitor Nicola Hodgson was instructed by Sunningwell Parish Council, in Oxfordshire, to register a piece of land as a village green – thereby preventing two new houses being built on the site which had, for decades, been popular with families and dog walkers. The case went to the House of Lords, resulting in…

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Bullies beware!

October 31, 2019

Through our 154-year history, the Open Spaces Society has developed a proud record of legal action. We fought the enclosures, and defended commoners’ rights; we have tested the law in the courts many times. We have suffered losses, but we also have landmark victories to our name. One such victory was our challenge to Dorset…

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Edgar Powell, 1936 – 2019

October 24, 2019

Our vice-president Edgar Powell has died aged 83. Edgar was our local correspondent for parts of Herefordshire and Worcestershire for 24 years (1992-2016), a trustee (1995-2003) and vice-chairman (2002-3). It is impossible to quantify all he did for the society and our members. Edgar was born in Colwall, Herefordshire but spent most of his life…

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Village greens in the balance warns Open Spaces Society

July 11, 2019

‘Our green spaces are under unprecedented threat as the law on town and village greens is in the balance.’ So declared the Open Spaces Society’s chairman, Chris Beney, at the society’s annual general meeting in London on Thursday (11 July). ‘Only recently the courts ruled that 380 square metres at Vowley View, Wootton Bassett in…

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Securing Open Spaces

June 11, 2019

Our case officer, Nicola Hodgson, advises how you can win open space as part of development in England – Local Green Space (LGS) does not exist in Wales  Town or village green (TVG) Registration of land under section 15(2) Commons Act 2006. Anyone may apply to the commons registration authority to register land as TVG…

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Unhappy trigger

June 11, 2019

Our general secretary, Kate Ashbrook considers the wider implications of a recent court of appeal judgment on greens.  Town and village greens have been dealt a further body-blow. The appeal court has outlawed the registration of land which is within a ‘settlement boundary’ as a green.  Ever since the egregious Growth and Infrastructure Act 2013…

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