The Open Spaces Society (formally the Commons, Open Spaces and Footpaths Preservation Society) was founded in 1865 and is Britain's oldest national conservation body. A charity and a pressure group, we campaign for new, tougher laws to protect common land, town and village greens, urban and rural open spaces and public rights of way in town and country, throughout England and Wales. We give technical and practical advice on their law, protection, management and administration.
The society has some 2000 members, consisting of local authorities at all levels, amenity and other organisations and individuals, who look to it for help and guidance. We rely for our income on membership subscriptions, donations, legacies and grants.
The society’s office is in Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire, although most of our roles are home-based. We presently have nine members of staff and around 40 home-based local correspondents who represent the society in their local authority area.
The society is governed by the trustees who are elected by the annual general meeting of the society’s members.
Although we are a small charity, we are extremely energetic, operating at national and local levels. We have a lively social media following, are often in the newspapers and on the radio, and we are involved in parliamentary work and legal action.