This Christmas, paths and open spaces matter- now more than ever

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We deal with almost 1000 cases a year assisting communities, groups and individuals in protecting their local spaces and paths in all parts of England and Wales. Can you help us by joining as a member?

The climate emergency and the government’s recent onslaught on the environment, nature, and our enjoyment of them, highlight the importance of the outdoors for our health and well-being, and for growth.  Now more than ever we must keep fighting for village greens, commons, rights of way and for public access to open spaces for everyone to enjoy

Hampstead Heath in summer

Time for reflection on Hampstead Heath

Outdoor gift ideas

This Christmas could be your opportunity to share your appreciation and ambition for the future of our precious paths and open spaces in these uncertain times. By gifting membership to Open Spaces Society, a small charity which receives no government funding, you will help us defend access to open space for everyone.

The charity conserves and promotes freedom to the outdoors by seeking protection for paths and open spaces, so that everyone can enjoy them. Our work may involve challenging government legislation, such as the Levelling up and Regeneration Bill , or guiding a community action group so that it can object to a planning and development application.

Our campaigning works. Here are some examples of success stories showing how we have championed local community access for recreation and enjoyment. We had a hand in all of these cases:

  • We saved part of Richmond Low Moor common in North Yorkshire from deregistration after threatening legal action against the county council.
  • We congratulated Friends of Dartmouth Community Orchard for voluntarily registering the historic community-orchard in Dartmouth, Devon, as a village green.
  • We were pleased that Swansea City and County Council has withdrawn its application to deregister common land at Tutts Head, Bracelet Bay, Mumbles
  • We welcomed decisions which will help protect Hamsterley village green, in County Durham, and Chobham Common and Dunsfold Common in Surrey.
  • We celebrated the government’s decision to scrap the 2026 deadline for recording historic paths in England.

Enjoying a picnic at Nutsford Vale, Manchester


We continue to champion our Grant A Green campaign.  The society continues to campaign so that more local councils in England and Wales voluntarily register their open spaces as town or village greens[1], to protect them from development and give local people rights of recreation there.

We value every one of our members. Each provides the mandate for our voice to be heard so that we can keep paths and open spaces in the spotlight, where they belong. All members are kept up to date with our work and have access to support for protecting open spaces and public paths as well as a huge amount of expert knowledge and case-study experience on our website, and from our Open Space member magazine, social media and  eZines.

Open Space magazine Spring 2022

Open Space magazine Spring 2022

Buy a society membership from just £33 for a whole year’s subscription. Apply before 16 December to be confident that we can post your gift in time for Christmas.

Find out more about the membership subscriptions available and how to make a gift for the future of accessible green spaces for  all


[1]Any landowner can dedicate land as a town or village green, under section 15(8) of the Commons Act 2006.  Once the land is dedicated, local people have rights of informal recreation there, and the land is protected from encroachment and development for ever more under section 12 of the Inclosure Act 1857 and section 29 of the Commons Act 1876.

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