Campaigner’s Proud Battle Honours

OPEN SPACES SOCIETY

NEWS RELEASE

 

BRITAIN’S OLDEST CONSERVATIONISTS COUNT THEIR BATTLE HONOURS

150 years ago on Sunday (19 July) at a meeting in a lawyer’s chambers in London, the Commons Preservation Society—Britain’s oldest national conservation body—was launched.  Without the society countless commons, green spaces and public paths would have been lost for ever. 

And there would be no National Trust, since it was the society’s founders who formed the National Trust in 1895, thirty years after the society’s own foundation in 1865.

The society (now the Open Spaces Society(1)) is famous for having saved Hampstead Heath, Wimbledon Common and other London open spaces in the mid-nineteenth century.  In fact it has campaigned tirelessly throughout England and Wales.  A selection of a few of the cases in which the society has been involved is set out below.

Says Kate Ashbrook, general secretary of the society for the last 31 years: ‘In some of these cases the public right would have been utterly lost but for our intervention.  In others we gave vital legal guidance to local people, and in still others we took the lead in organising defenders of public rights to save them—including taking direct action. 

‘Today we are needed more than ever because public spaces and paths face constant threats from developers and swingeing cuts to public spending.  We are as energetic as ever in the fight for our freedom to enjoy those vital green spaces and paths.’

Battle honours 1865-2015

·        Berkhamsted Common, Hertfordshire 1866

·        Wandsworth Common, London 1870

·        Burston recreation ground, Norfolk 1870

·        Hampstead Heath, London 1871

·        Wimbledon Common, London 1871

·        Coulsdon Commons, Croydon 1873

·        Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire 1875

·        Mitcham Common, London 1877

·        New Forest, Hampshire 1877

·        Barnes Common, London 1877

·        Bulwell Forest Common, Nottingham 1878

·        Wood Green Common, Hornsey 1878

·        Epping Forest, Essex 1879

·        Burnham Beeches, Buckinghamshire 1880

·        Penn Common, Wolverhampton 1882

·        Mousehold Heath common, Norwich 1882

·        Colwall Common, Isle of Wight 1882

·        Malvern Hills, Worcestershire 1884

·        Great Torrington Commons, Devon 1889

·        Bethnal Green Poor’s Land, London 1890

·        Clapham Common, London 1891

·        Walton-in-Gordano Common, Somerset 1892

·        Coldhams Common, Cambridge 1893

·        Banstead Commons, Surrey 1893

·        Cambridge commons, 1894

·        Edles Common, Kenwyn, Cornwall 1894

·        Hatherleigh Moor, Devon 1895

·        Craig Leyshon and Gelligaer Commons, South Wales 1895

·        Ham Common Fields, Surrey 1896

·        Hollesley Common, Suffolk 1897

·        East Hill, Hastings, East Sussex 1897

·        Churchyard Bottom Wood, Highgate 1898

·        Tor Glass Common, Brecon 1899

·        Old Deer Park, Richmond, Surrey 1900

·        Footbridge over River Irfon at Doldymer, Llanwrtyd, Brecon 1900

·        Huntingdon commons 1900

·        Footbridge over brook at the old paper mills, Esher 1900

·        Merrow Downs, Surrey 1902

·        Extension of Hampstead Heath 1902

·        Frimley fuel allotments, Surrey 1902

·        View from Richmond Hill, Surrey 1902

·        Footpath at Dunsden, Berkshire 1902

·        35 footpaths and bridleways on Chequers Estate, Buckinghamshire 1902

·        Acton Green, London 1904

·        Ruskin Park, Denmark Hill, London c1904

·        Earlstone Common, Burghclere, Hampshire 1904

·        Path through Hammonds Estate, Checkendon, Oxfordshire 1904

·        Stoke Common, Stoke Poges, Bucks 1905

·        Hindhead Common, Surrey 1906

·        Goodwick Moor and Hill, Pembroke 1906

·        Milford Common, Witley, Surrey 1906

·        Nettlebed Commons, Oxfordshire 1906

·        Replacement of stepping-stones over River Conwy 1906

·        Towyn Trewan Common, Anglesey 1908

·        Footpaths at Rivington, Lancs 1908

·        Whitley Links Common, Northumberland 1908

·        Public path at Conkwell, Wiltshire 1908

·        Public path at Hadleigh, Essex 1908

·        Llanlleiana headland, Anglesey 1908

·        Public path at South Hayling, Hampshire 1908

·        Public bridleway on Snowdon 1908

·        Wraysbury and Staines Commons, Surrey 1911

·        Colton Commons Lancashire 1911

·        Public paths at Sundon, Bedfordshire 1911

·        Public path reopened at Grindleford Bridge, Derbyshire 1911

·        Reopening of footpaths at Winthorpe and Skegness, Lincolnshire 1911

·        Six public paths at Oswaldkirk, York 1913

·        Footpath at Conwy 1913

·        Tiptree Heath, Essex 1918

·        Selsdon Wood, Croydon 1927

·        Hightown Common, Hampshire 1928

·        Goppa Mountain Common, Swansea 1930

·        Paths at Aber Falls, Caernarvonshire 1930

·        Broad Down, Dartmoor 1930

·        Southwold Common, Suffolk 1930

·        Magna Carta Island and Ankerwycke 1935

·        Sullington Warren, West Sussex 1935

·        Mow Cop, Staffordshire 1935

·        Hackney Marhses, London 1936

·        Hudnall Common, Hertfordshire 1936

·        Footpath at St Merryns, Cornwall 1940

·        Elsdon village green, Northumberland 1943

·        Wanstead Flats, Essex 1947

·        Midhurst Common, West Sussex 1947

·        Grove Fields, Harrow-on-the-Hill 1948

·        Public path at Littlehampton, East Sussex 1954

·        Public path at Windermere, Lake District National Park 1955

·        Woolacombe cliffs, Devon 1958

·        Berry Head, Brixham 1958

·        Rudge Hill, Edge Common, Gloucestershire 1961

·        Roborough Down, Devon 1961

·        Wycombe Rye, Buckinghamshire 1965

·        St Michael’s Common, Suffolk 1965

·        Staines Moor, Surrey 1982

·        Bournemouth turbary (fuel allotments) 1984

·        Copthorne Common, West Sussex 1985

·        Jubilee Gardens, Southall 1985

·        Portland Common, Dorset 1986

·        West End Common, Surrey 1987

·        Bird Rock common, Gwynedd 1988

·        Grassington Moor, North Yorkshire 1988

·        Footpath at Taplow, Buckinghamshire 1992

·        Public path at Llanwarne, Herefordshire 1994

·        Footpath at Hilmarton, Wiltshire 1995

·        Mulbarton Common, Norfolk 1995

·        Thwaite Common, Norfolk 1997

·        Over 100 public paths at Ombersley, Worcestershire 1997

·        Footpath at Lees, Manchester 1998

·        Village green at Sunningwell, Oxfordshire 1999

·        Bowden and Liddaton Downs, Brentor, Devon 2000

·        Footpath at Eaton under Heywood, Shropshire 2000

·        Footpath at Belvedere Place, Southwark 2001

·        Bridleway at Irlam, Manchester 2001

·        Footpath at Torbryan, Devon 2002

·        Footpath at Newchurch, Isle of Wight 2003

·        Wetley Moor, Staffordshire 2004

·        Footpath at Norcot Nursery School Reading 2004

·        Footpath at Church Langley, Essex 2004

·        Footpath at Castle Cove, Dartmouth, reopened 2005

·        Footpath at Northwick Park golf course, Brent 2006

·        Footpath at Brooklands passage, Lambeth 2007

·        Public paths at Sudeley Castle, Gloucestershire 2010

·        Footpath at South Petherton, Somerset 2010

·        Sugary Green, Dartmouth, Devon 2011

·        Footpath to Margam Beach, Neath Port Talbot 2013

·        Undercroft, Southbank, Southwark 2014

·        White Moss Common, Grasmere, Cumbria 2014

·        Green at Talybont, Ceredigion 2014

·        Green at Nympsfield, Gloucestershire 2015

·        Mynydd y Gwair, Swansea 2015-07-17

·        and more to comeENDS

Notes for editors

1          The Open Spaces Society was founded in 1865 and is Britain’s oldest national conservation body.  It campaigns to protect common land, village greens, open spaces and public paths, and people’s right to enjoy them.  This year it celebrates its 150th anniversary with the hashtag #saveopenspaces150.

_____________________________________________________

CONTACT:  Kate Ashbrook     

Kate Ashbrook

General Secretary

The Open Spaces Society

25a Bell Street

Henley-on-Thames RG9 2BA

mail: hq@oss.org.uk

website www.oss.org.uk

The Open Spaces Society is a registered charity (no 1144840) and a company limited by guarantee, registered in England & Wales (no 7846516).

 

150 years – and still fighting

Celebrate our anniversary and help

us continue our work

 

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