Monthly Archives: May 2013

Half my life with the OSS

On 3 June 2013 I shall have worked for the Open Spaces Society for exactly half my life. I was employed in 1984 as general secretary (I have kept the old-fashioned title, which I like) to develop the society’s role as a … Continue reading

Posted in Access, common land, Open Spaces Society, Public paths | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

A giant of a ranger

Sean Prendergast (1960-2013), who died tragically young at the age of 52, was a giant of a ranger in every sense. Sean had worked for the Peak District National Park Authority since 1994, first as chief ranger, then as head … Continue reading

Posted in Access, National parks, Obituary, Open Spaces Society, People | Tagged , , , | 15 Comments

Champagne on a Corbett

It must come as quite a shock to an unassuming hiker, who wants quietly to bag a Corbett* on a May Sunday, to find the peak has been taken over by a noisy group of champagne-drinking walkers.  At this time of … Continue reading

Posted in Access, parliament, Radical Ramblers, Scotland, walking | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Memorial to a lifelong footpath-defender

Today I attended a gathering at Painswick, Gloucestershire, to celebrate the life of Tony Drake (1923-2012), former Gloucestershire Area footpath secretary for the Ramblers, member of the Ramblers’ board of trstees, and much else.  More than 100 Ramblers and others … Continue reading

Posted in Access, AONB, National trail, Obituary, Open Spaces Society, Public paths, Ramblers, Ramblers' president | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Man of the common

Last month, at the age of 93, Alfred Leach retired as secretary of the Wheeler End Commoners, after 45 years in post.  He has done a tireless job, ensuring that the common has remained unspoiled, open and free for all … Continue reading

Posted in Bucks, Chilterns, common land, common rights, Open Spaces Society, People | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Early bird

This morning I was up at 5.30 to do my breeding-bird survey (BBS) for the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO). Unfortunately my allotted square is about 15 miles away, not within walking distance.  It seems sacrilege to start the car … Continue reading

Posted in Birds, Bucks, Chilterns | Tagged | 5 Comments

Delicate-filmed as new-spun silk

There is a moment in the year (and it’s usually in April nowadays) when the beech leaves are on the point of opening, and they seem to float in the air.  For those of us who live in the Chilterns, … Continue reading

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‘Let sleeping bogs lie’

I received a strange email from Amazon.  It invited me, ‘when I’ve finished with this book’, to trade in Fighting for Birds by Mark Avery for an Amazon gift card.  Fighting for Birds isn’t a book I shall finish with, I shall want to keep … Continue reading

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