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Six short years

April 6, 2013

What an outrageous situation. The next government must reverse this.


The Easter weekend of 2007 was sunlit and full of promise. On Good Friday, 6 April, the new law for new greens in the Commons Act 2006 took effect.  The Open Spaces Society celebrated ‘the doors opening’ for village greens with a customary press release.  I was up at dawn on Easter Saturday for a cheerful interview with Jim Naughtie on the Today programme, urging people to get out there and record their greens.

By clarifying a somewhat confusing law, the 2006 act encouraged local people to try to register land which qualified as a green—where they have enjoyed informal recreation for 20 years, without interruption or permission—and for the first time it allowed a two-year grace period for applications after recreational use of the land had been challenged.

The law recognised that if people could demonstrate such use of the land, their rights to enjoy it should be…

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