Rory has offered his support to local landscape charity Friends of the Lake District’s campaign to protect green spaces, adding his voice to those of concern that proposals to change the current Town and Village Green registration system could mean that local communities lose the right to register green spaces that they value for sport and recreation.
Registering a green space gives it legal protection so that it cannot be developed and must remain for use for sports and pastimes. At present, communities can apply to register green spaces they have used for 20 years for sports and recreation as town and village greens which will give them full protection. These spaces are often at the heart of community life and are valuable not only for recreation but as open green spaces for wildlife, informal meetings, and areas for children to play.
Rory said: “Cumbria currently has the highest number of town and village greens of any county in England, and they are very diverse in character, ranging from traditional village greens in the centre of a group of houses, to open grazing land in the countryside or land on the edge of the village with free access for local people. These spaces are at the heart of our communities, and they are invaluable to communities. Their importance cannot be overestimated, and we need to be making it easier for communities to register and use these spaces for the good of the neighbourhood, rather than making it more difficult.”
Defra’s consultation on the registration of new town and village greens ends on October 17th 2011. Constituents are encouraged to respond to the Government’s proposals by then. The consultation is available online at: