Monthly Archives: August 2013

Not yet a walkers’ paradise

The Henley Standard‘s ‘turning back the pages’ column on 23 August 2013 reported, in the ‘10 years ago‘ section, the Open Spaces Society‘s story in the 22 August 2003 issue. This bore the headline: ‘Market Place branded a danger to … Continue reading

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Dilemmas at the dump

I spent last weekend emptying our sitting-room, made necessary by a slow-leaking pipe which gradually soaked the concrete under the carpet.   Now we have to be dried out, with furniture put into storage.  An obvious throwing-away opportunity, but it’s … Continue reading

Posted in Turville | Tagged | 1 Comment

Freedom to roam: freedom to think

A new kissing-gate at the top of the 158-metre Cobstone Hill above Turville, Bucks (grid reference SU 768 915) , welcomes walkers who want to roam freely along the ridge-top once more.  The plaque says Freedom to roam: freedom to … Continue reading

Posted in Access, AONB, Bucks, Chilterns, Natural England, Open country, walking | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

A bath with a view

I used to be able to lie in the bath and look through the window at Cobstone Hill above Turville, Bucks, in the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.  Now the trees have grown up and obscured it. Cobstone is … Continue reading

Posted in Access, AONB, Birds, Bucks, Chilterns, Natural history, Obstructed path, Open country, Ramblers, Turville, walking | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Challenge for commoners’ chairman

Ian Mercer has stood down as chairman of the Dartmoor Commoners’ Council after serving for nine years. He was only the second chairman in the council’s 27-year existence. The council was set up following implementation of the pioneering Dartmoor Commons … Continue reading

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Magnificent Maurice retires (well, not quite)

I was pleased to join members, and former members, of the Northamptonshire Ramblers on 6 August for dinner at Wadenhoe, to thank Maurice Tebbutt who had retired from Area office after more than 50 years.   He had latterly served … Continue reading

Posted in Access, People, Public paths, Ramblers, Ramblers' president, walking | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Beacons of the night

On a warm summer’s evening I love to wander over Cobstone Hill, above Turville in the Chilterns, looking for glow worms.   Our first summer here was 1988 and we saw our first glow worm on 20 June (my first … Continue reading

Posted in Chilterns, Natural history | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Coastal access—mixed ministerial messages

Environment minister Richard Benyon is in no hurry to deliver access around England’s coastline, but on BBC2 Newsnight, on Monday 5 August, he did at least say that there would be access ‘in time’ (though not on the Isle of Wight, see … Continue reading

Posted in Access, Coastal access, Defra, Ramblers, Wales, walking | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment


Last week I visited Whipsnade for a television interview on the green.  As I drove past the zoo entrance I was reminded of some research I did in 1986 for an article for The Countryman, which was celebrating its 60th jubilee … Continue reading

Posted in Access, Chilterns, Open country, Open Spaces Society, Public paths, walking | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Bit by bit, connecting the greensand gems

It was 10.15 pm on 22 July when Anne Robinson and I set off across Iping Common, near Midhurst in West Sussex, under a full moon.  I had not expected to hear anything, but soon we heard a nightjar churring and … Continue reading

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