Thursday, 16 September 2021

Campaign group hits 150

THE Open Spaces Society celebrates its 150th anniversary this year.

THE Open Spaces Society celebrates its 150th anniversary this year.

The organisation, based in Bell Street, Henley, is the oldest national conservation body in Britain.

To mark the anniversary, the society will publish two books, Saving Open Spaces, and Common Land, as well as run a number of events throughout the year.

These include a picnic with the High Wycombe Society at Wycombe Rye, an open day at Bursledon in Hampshire and a commemorative tree-planting in Nottingham.

Kate Ashbrook, general secretary, said: “A century and a half ago no one would have thought that today there would be at least 2,212 square miles - an area roughly the size of Lincolnshire - of common land in England and Wales.



“This is because of the campaigns led by the Open Spaces Society to ensure that commons and commoners’ rights were protected and that a right of public access there was secured.

“During its anniversary year the society will keep up its tradition of campaigning for people’s places.”

This year, the society aims to:

Provide legal guidance for communities wishing to designate local green space.

Run a campaign to prevent the commercial use of open spaces.

Persuade the Westminster and Welsh Governments to implement part 1 of the Commons Act 2006 throughout their areas so that the public can reclaim lost commons.

Secure better laws for the protection of village greens in England and oppose adverse changes to the greens law in Wales.

Lobby ministers to make the lavish grants to landowners and occupiers conditional on all public rights of way on their land being unobstructed.

The society was founded in 1865 as the Commons Preservation Society to save London commons from destruction and created the National Trust 30 years later.

For more information, visit www.oss.org.uk

THE Open Spaces Society is marking its 150th anniversary this year.

The campaign group, which is based in Bell Street, Henley, is the oldest national conservation body in Britain.

To mark the anniversary, the society will publish two books, Saving Open Spaces, and Common Land, as well as run a number of events during the year.

These will include a picnic with the High Wycombe Society at Wycombe Rye, an open day at Bursledon in Hampshire and a commemorative tree-planting in Nottingham.

General secretary Kate Ashbrook said: “A century and a half ago no one would have thought that today there would be at least 2,212 square miles — an area roughly the size of Lincolnshire — of common land in England and Wales.

“This is because of the campaigns led by the Open Spaces Society to ensure that commons and commoners’ rights were protected and that a right of public access there was secured.

“During its anniversary year the society will keep up its tradition of campaigning for people’s places.”

The society was founded in 1865 as the Commons Preservation Society to save London commons from destruction and created the National Trust 30 years later.

For more information, visit www.oss.org.uk

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