A lifelong Market Harborough rambler is urging councils across the East Midlands – give us a green.
Peter Pollak, 75, is promoting and supporting the new Grant A Green campaign being launched by the Open Spaces Society.
The UK’s oldest national conservation body, which dates back to 1865, is calling on councillors to register their open spaces as town or village greens.
The Open Spaces Society argues that the pivotal move will protect them from development and give local people rights of recreation there.
Peter, the organisation’s local Harborough correspondent, said: “It’s more vital now than ever to secure and look after our precious green spaces.
“The tough lockdown restrictions on people’s movement over the last year mean that many of us have discovered our local open spaces are absolutely essential for our mental and physical health as well as our sanity.
“And those fantastic spaces we all love so much are under unprecedented threat.”
The devoted Great Outdoors devotee said the country’s well-established planning system is under threat like never before - and our green spaces are in the “firing line for development”.
“Landowning local councils such as Harborough and others throughout Leicestershire can set an example to others all over Britain.
“They can provide the best gift they can for our communities by registering their land as greens and protecting them,” insisted Peter, of Farndon Fields, Market Harborough.
“We are so lucky to be surrounded by such beautiful, majestic countryside here in Harborough.
“But we can all see that new houses are being built all around our fine town and in nearby villages every day of the week.
“We all have to do what we can to get behind our crucial new national initiative.
“The one thing we cannot do is to become complacent and take our priceless green open spaces for granted.
“Because if they do disappear under a sea of concrete, bricks and mortar they will be gone for ever – we’ll never get them back,” warned Peter.
There is a guide to voluntary registration on the Open Spaces Society’s website.
And there is no charge for applications, which are made to county or unitary councils’ commons registration departments under section 15(8) of the Commons Act 2006.
Nicola Hodgson, one of the society’s case officers, said: ‘This is the moment for local councils to set an example and voluntarily register their land as town or village greens.
“In the face of enormous threats to our precious open spaces this is the best way of ensuring that they can be enjoyed for ever by local people.”
You can find out more information here https://www.oss.org.uk/grant-a-green-campaign/