Monthly Archives: July 2015

From potatoes to paths: loss of a hero

It’s a sad fact that you learn more about a person at their funeral than during their lifetime.  So it was when I went to Oliver Statham’s funeral in Amersham last week.   Oliver died on 11 July aged only 74, having suffered ill … Continue reading

Posted in Access, Bucks, campaigns, Obituary, Open Spaces Society, Public paths, Ramblers, walking | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Swincombe—saved for the second time

30 July 1975: At last, at five o’clock, the phone rang and I grabbed it immediately.  And as I heard Sylvia Sayer’s voice my heart leapt, for I knew that Swincombe was saved.  She would never have phoned if the … Continue reading

Posted in Dartmoor, National parks, wild country | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Flawed at Fawley

On Thursday 2 July I decided to take a stroll on the Buckinghamshire side of the River Thames on Fawley footpath 12.  It runs from Henley along the west bank of the river, across a stream on a footbridge, and … Continue reading

Posted in Bucks, Henley-on-Thames, Public paths, walking | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Not so benign?

Last week I went to a reception at the House of Lords to celebrate England’s national parks. It was held in the Attlee Room, under the shrewdly benign gaze of Clem Attlee whose portrait hung on the wall.  Since he was prime … Continue reading

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Back to Barossa

At the end of June I returned to the usual meeting place for the nightjar survey on the Surrey heaths near Camberley.  About 20 volunteers met by the cattle-grid at the end of King’s Ride at 7.45 on Sunday 28 … Continue reading

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Perfect party

It may be a cliché, but my (belated) fiftieth birthday party, ten years ago on 16 July 2005, was a perfect day. My friend Marion Saunders had offered to host it at Hillbridge Farm, near Peter Tavy on western Dartmoor.   I had known … Continue reading

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‘A bloodless coup’

Another anniversary!  Today, 9 July, the Open Spaces Society holds its AGM exactly 30 years after the AGM on 9 July 1985 when, for the only time in its 150-year history, the society booted out its president. That president was the late Earl of … Continue reading

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Clash over champagne and caviar

While champagne and caviar were being quaffed at Henley Regatta, 25 years ago today (8 July 1990), representatives of the Open Spaces Society exercised their rights of passage through the hospitality tents. The tents and enclosures, which were leased by Palmer … Continue reading

Posted in Access, Bucks, campaigns, Henley-on-Thames, Open Spaces Society | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A city on foot

Boston’s Rose Kennedy Greenway used to be a roaring six-lane highway on the south side of Boston.  Now it is a quiet green space, with flower beds and seats.  And it is an excellent space for art. I was fortunate … Continue reading

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