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National Open Space Award

May 30, 2013






 Three community-based projects, in Bucks, Newcastle upon Tyne and Surrey, have been short-listed for the Open Spaces Society’s(1) prestigious Open Space Award.(2)

 The Grange Area Trust has saved Widmer Fields at Widmer End, Hazlemere, near High Wycombe in Bucks from development.  The trust, which was established with the aim of conserving the 16-hectare site as a community and conservation open space, has bought the land.  The trust intends to register the land as a village green so that it can be protected for ever and enjoyed by all.  It is used by three local primary-schools for field studies.

 The Friends of Tyne Riverside Country Park are extending and refurbishing the park at Newburn, Newcastle upon Tyne, creating a landscape which is attractive for wildlife and people.  Local groups are helping with the practical work, improving the access routes, developing a sensory garden and creating an amphitheatre for public events, for instance.

 The Cobham Conservation and Heritage Trust, in partnership with Elmbridge Borough Council and with assistance from Surrey County Council, is transforming the Riverhill site from a scrubby, unattractive and overgrown area into an accessible wild meadow and grassed riverbanks with a riverside viewing-platform.  They have involved local schools, businesses, clubs, community groups and the councils in their work.

 Says Tim Crowther, chairman of the Open Spaces Society and a member of the judging panel: ‘These are excellent examples of local people working together to achieve something of real and lasting benefit to the community.  We congratulate all three finalists on their efforts.

 ‘The winner will be announced that the society’s AGM in Birmingham on 16 July.  There were 13 entries in total from England and Wales, all of them commendable and it was difficult to choose the short list.’

 Further information is on the Open Spaces Society’s website at Photos available on request.


 Notes for editors

 1.            The Open Spaces Society was founded in 1865 and is Britain’s oldest national conservation body.  It campaigns to protect common land, village greens, open spaces and public paths, and people’s right to enjoy them.

 2.            This is the second year that the society has run its Open Space Award.  The aim of the award is to encourage projects which support the society’s aims to protect, increase, enhance and champion common land, town and village greens open spaces and public rights of way in England and Wales, and the public’s right to enjoy them.

                 Last year the prize was won by Bishop’s Meadow Trust in Farnham, Surrey.  The prize this year will probably be a plaque to be displayed on the site.


    Kate Ashbrook

General Secretary

The Open Spaces Society

25a Bell Street

Henley-on-Thames RG9 2BA



The Open Spaces Society is a registered charity (no 1144840) and a company limited by guarantee, registered in England & Wales (no 7846516).

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