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New Edition of Village Greens Bible

June 22, 2013



The Open Spaces Society(1) has published the third edition of Getting Green Registered, its handbook on how to register land as a town or village green in England and Wales. 

 The book includes the changes to the law, made by the Growth and Infrastructure Act 2013 in April, which make it harder to register land as a green in England.  The greens bible guides potential applicants through the thickets of legislation and case law and advises on how they can have the best chance of winning a green.

 Land can be registered as a green if local people can prove that they have used it for at least 20 years, for informal recreation, without being stopped and without permission.  They need to follow a process to achieve this and make an application to the registration authority (county or unitary council). 

 Once registered the land is protected from development by nineteenth-century legislation.

 Explains Kate Ashbrook: ‘There have been many changes to the law, and many legal cases, including judgments in the House of Lords and Supreme Court, since we published the second edition by John Riddall(2) in 2007.  It is now more difficult to register a green in England because the government has outlawed applications on land which is threatened by development.  It is therefore vital that local people identify now any land which might be registrable and get in their application before the land is threatened.

 ‘Our book takes you through the process, step by step.  It helps you to decide if the land is eligible for registration and then, if it is, guides you on what you need to do to make an application and see it through, with advice on handling a public inquiry too.

 ‘The book makes what might seem a complex process much easier, and endeavours to answer all the commonly-asked questions.  We hope that people will buy it and use it to help them register their green,’ says Kate.

 The book is for sale through the Open Spaces Society’s website where it can be downloaded.  The cost is £10 to members, £11 to non-members.


 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.         John Riddall MA (TCD) is a barrister and before his retirement was a senior lecturer in law at the University of Leeds.  His books include Land Law, Jurisprudence, The Law of Trusts and, with John Trevelyan, Rights of Way: a guide to law and practice.  He is a vice-president of the Open Spaces Society.

 CONTACT:        Kate Ashbrook          

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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