This Christmas, paths and open spaces matter – now more than ever3 min read

Do you know someone who would appreciate a present that will help protect the future of accessible green spaces for all?

The Covid-19 pandemic, homeworking, the climate emergency, refugee crisis, and COP26 events in the past year have made for a challenging, harrowing but thought-provoking 12 months. Most of us have had cause to reflect on our lifestyles, values and priorities. Many will continue to look outside their homes or work-place to gain solace and conjure optimism when enjoying our network of public paths, spending a lunch-break outdoors or even just admiring the views of a favourite  landscape.

Hampstead Heath in summer

Time for reflection on Hampstead Heath

Outdoor gift ideas

This Christmas could be an 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 all.

The charity conserves and promotes access 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 Environment 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:

Oyster Wharf, part of the seafront at Mumbles, Swansea will remain a public place thanks to our intervention

We supported action group Downs for People to end decades of parking on Bristol’s downland

We successfully supported a legal challenge to the deregistration of Yateley Common, Hampshire, in the court of appeal, which threatened common land across England and Wales.

Enjoying a picnic at Nutsford Vale, Manchester


In April this year we launched 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.

423134 Open Spaces Spring Magazine Cover 2021

Open Space magazine Spring 2021

Buy a society membership from just £33 for a whole year’s subscription. Apply before 17 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.

Join the discussion


Posted in