Open Spaces Society

Lord Eversley, the former Liberal MP and minister, founded the Commons Preservation Society in 1865. The aim of the society was to save London commons for the enjoyment and recreation of the public. Its committee members included such important figures as Octavia Hill, the social reformer, Sir Robert Hunter, solicitor and later co-founder of the National Trust, Professor Huxley, and the MPs, Sir Charles Dilke and James Bryce. Most of the society's members initially came from the south east, so their interests focused on London.
In 1899 the Commons Preservation Society amalgamated with the National Footpaths Society, adopting the title Commons Open Spaces and Footpath Preservation Society. The shortened name, Open Spaces Society was adopted in the 1980s. The society promoted important pieces of legislation, including the Commons Acts of 1876 and 1899. Today, its principal task is advising local authorities, Commons committees, voluntary bodies, and the general public on the appropriation of commons and other open spaces. It also scrutinises applications that affect public rights of way. It has no branch organisation but works with local and regional bodies. Its membership, therefore, is small. The society also publishes a quarterly journal as well as a wide variety of literature.

Contains Administrative records, Legal reports and papers, Publications of the Society, Publications of other organizations, Parliamentary Papers, Other publications: maps, Photographs: transparencies
and Social and personal records

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