“THE national Open Spaces Society has plenty to keep it busy here in Henley,” said the society’s case officer Nicola
“THE national Open Spaces Society has plenty to keep it busy here in Henley,” said the society’s case officer Nicola Hodgson, speaking at a lunch organised by the branch on May 18.
The society, which is Britain’s oldest national conservation body, is based in Henley. Founded in 1865, it celebrates its 150th anniversary this year.
Nicola told the gathering how the society has campaigned tirelessly for common land, town and village greens, open spaces and public paths, starting with saving the London commons in the mid–19th century.
She said: “After its London launch, the society soon branched out into all parts of England and Wales and extended its range of interests.
“The society was instrumental in preserving the Nettlebed Commons, through the Nettlebed and District Commons Preservation Act 1906, and used its legal expertise to save and open up countless commons, open spaces and paths.
“More recently, the society has advised Henley Town Council on the registration of Gillotts Field as a village green to protect it forever and has celebrated the new footpath from Pack and Prime Lane.
“Green spaces are under unprecedented threat of development and the society has launched a tool–kit to help local people save their open spaces. They can apply for designation as ‘local green space’ or for registration as a community asset, for instance.
“We have been at the forefront of protecting open spaces and public paths for 150 years and intend to continue the fight for the next 150.”