Monthly Archives: March 2013

Happy birthday South Downs National Park

Today, 1 April, is the third anniversary of the South Downs National Park and the second of the South Downs National Park Authority.  Yesterday Ramblers‘ campaigner Owen Plunkett organised a celebratory event: a six-mile walk from East Meon in Hampshire, with … Continue reading

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The end of Lloyd George’s line

‘Farewells after final Commission for Rural Communities meeting.  Ends proud line going back to Lloyd George’s Development Commission in 1909.’ This was tweeted last Wednesday by Mark Shucksmith of Newcastle University, who has been a board member of the Commission for … Continue reading

Posted in Defra, Natural England | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Quick fix for a prince

The brightly-coloured primulas were being heeled in to the cold flower-beds when we arrived at HF Holidays’ Thorns Hall at Sedbergh, Cumbria.  ‘They’ll be back in the greenhouse this evening,’ the gardeners assured us.  The quick fix was because HRH … Continue reading

Posted in Access, common land, common rights, Cumbria, Foundation for Common land, Open Spaces Society, Ramblers | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Tell the Ramblers’ story

Ramblers’ groups are very good at organising walks.  They lead more than 38,000 walks a year.  They are outstanding at meeting one of the Ramblers‘  aims, promoting walking.  They tend though to see the led walks as separate from the … Continue reading

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Green spaces threatened? It’s already too late

This is my opinion article which was published in the Western Daily Press on 22 March 2013. Our right to enjoy green spaces and the right to light are both currently threatened, according to Kate Ashbrook, general secretary of the … Continue reading

Posted in Access, Defra, green spaces, Growth and Infrastructure Bill, open spaces, Open Spaces Society, parliament, town and village greens | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

A potential butterfly-paradise

Common Wood: part 2 Four species of Fritillary butterfly have been seen at Common Wood, my patch of common land near Horndon on the western side of the Dartmoor National Park.  There is potential to increase their numbers. They are Marsh, … Continue reading

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Chilterns for access

The Chilterns should offer a warm welcome to walkers, riders and cyclists.  This was the theme of my talk at at the Chilterns Conservation Board’s access conference at Hastoe, near Tring on 15 March. Here in the Chilterns, with their … Continue reading

Posted in Access, AONB, Bucks, common land, Natural England, Open country, Open Spaces Society, Public paths, Ramblers, riding, Walkers Are Welcome Towns, Woods and forests | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Growth Bill: can it get worse? Yes it can

As if the Growth and Infrastructure Bill’s attack on village greens wasn’t bad enough, the government now, at the eleventh hour, intends to make it even worse. The bill has completed its passage through the House of Commons, and through committee … Continue reading

Posted in green spaces, Growth and Infrastructure Bill, Open Spaces Society, parliament, town and village greens | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Geoff Sayer: no-nonsense enthusiast

Geoff Sayer, my good friend for nearly 40 years, died on 17 February aged 82. I first met Geoff at Cator, his parents’ home on Dartmoor, on 26 July 1975. I entered by the front door to be confronted by Geoff’s … Continue reading

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Twigside Story

As I expected, the oil-rich Gettys plan to move the old bridleway which runs past Twigside, once a modest farmhouse, now replaced by a mansion, at Ibstone in the Buckinghamshire Chilterns.  The route is already littered with CCTV and other discouraging signs … Continue reading

Posted in Access, Bucks, Open Spaces Society, Public paths, Ramblers, walking | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments