LETTER: call to politicians on open spaces


The Open Spaces Society, Britain’s oldest national conservation body, has published its manifesto for the 2015 Westminster election. It is calling on politicians of all parties to support these policies.

Good-quality paths and green spaces are vital to people’s well-being and they support the economy too.

So we are urging politicians to adopt policies which protect and promote commons, greens, other open spaces and public paths. In summary, we propose that everyone should have access to good-quality green space close to their home, and we suggest how this can be done.

We have called for a reversal of the damaging new law which makes it impossible to register land in England as a village green where that land has been earmarked for development.

To ensure our public paths are properly protected and maintained, highway authorities must have sufficient funding to carry out their statutory duties and grants to landowners should be conditional on all public rights on their land being unobstructed.

Local authorities should have a duty to take action against unlawful works on common land and there should be a 20mph speed limit on all unfenced roads across commons, to preserve their open atmosphere while enabling them to be grazed.

Kate Ashbrook

Open Spaces Society.