Monthly Archives: October 2013

A new inclosure-movement?

A century and a half ago we thought the inclosures were coming to an end—about the time that the Open Spaces Society was formed. Indeed, I said as much in Japan to an international audience on commons, and commiserated with … Continue reading

Posted in Access, Defra, green spaces, Japan, National parks, open spaces, planning | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

A mixed welcome in Norfolk

It was good to go to Swaffham, in Norfolk’s Brecklands, for the annual get-together of the Walkers Are Welcome Towns Network.  Swaffham is the only WAW town in East Anglia and it certainly gave us a great welcome, with an … Continue reading

Posted in Access, common land, Natural England, Walkers Are Welcome Towns | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

The handbag vote

The late Rodney Legg, chairman of the Open Spaces Society and for 20 years a member of the National Trust council, used to call it the ‘handbag vote’. These were the large number of proxy votes which the National Trust … Continue reading

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The evocation of smells

Last month I walked under a harvest moon along the edge of the newly-cut wheat field in Turville. The smell in the cool evening took me back to the field behind Wrango, where I was brought up, in Denham Village, Bucks. … Continue reading

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Martin Down: place of plenty

Martin Down is one of the largest areas of uninterrupted chalk downland in Britain. It’s a registered common, national nature reserve and site of special scientific interest in Hampshire, extending for 342 hectares in a north-west/south-east direction, right on the … Continue reading

Posted in Access, AONB, common land, Natural England, Open Spaces Society | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Allotment conundrum

It’s always good to see the late Nobel laureate Elinor (Lin) Ostrom mentioned in the press, and quite surprising to see a reference to her in The Economist.  Lin was a great scholar of the commons and founder of the … Continue reading

Posted in Elinor Ostrom, green spaces, International Association for the Study of the Commons | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Loneliness does not exist in solitude

A couple of weeks ago I visited the Exmoor Society’s exhibition, Hope Bourne’s Exmoor, in Dulverton.  Hope died in August 2010, aged 91, leaving her entire estate of books, paintings, letters and other memorabilia to the Exmoor Society.   Hope Lilian Bourne … Continue reading

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Benyon: been there, done that

Last Monday (7 October) I was interviewed on Radio 4 You and Yours about the  new regulations which make it even harder for people to register land as greens (listen here). Defra was claiming that the number of village green … Continue reading

Posted in Access, Coastal access, common land, Defra, green spaces, Growth and Infrastructure Act, Natural England, parliament, Public paths, town and village greens, walking | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

My forty-year friend

It was 40 years ago today (6 October) that I went on my first field trip from Exeter University.  And 40 years since I met Hil Marshall (then Scott). My main reason for going to Exeter was because it was … Continue reading

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Quell the car in Corfe

So many of our idyllic villages are spoilt by the omnipresent car.  Corfe Castle in the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty suffers more than most. The main A351  from Poole to Swanage passes through the village.  We visited in … Continue reading

Posted in AONB, National Trust | Tagged , , | 1 Comment