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The Churches Conservation Trust is the national charity protecting historic churches at risk. We've saved over 350 special buildings which attract almost 2 million visitors a year. Our buildings are t...
The Churches Conservation Trust is the national charity protecting historic churches at risk. We've saved over 350 special buildings which attract almost 2 million visitors a year. Our buildings are the largest single collection of historic churches in the country. With our help and with your support they are kept open and in use – living once again at the heart of their communities.

Churches Conservation Trust
Unit 14 - c/o Vulcan Works

34-38 Guildhall Road
Northampton
NN1 1EW
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We lead and enable Scotland’s first historic environment strategy Our Place in Time, which sets out how our historic environment will be managed. It ensures our historic environment is cared for, valu...
We lead and enable Scotland’s first historic environment strategy Our Place in Time, which sets out how our historic environment will be managed. It ensures our historic environment is cared for, valued and enhanced, both now and for future generations.

We’re a non-departmental public body with charitable status. We're governed by a Board of Trustees, who were appointed by Scottish Ministers.

We’re responsible for more than 300 properties of national importance. Buildings and monuments in our care include Edinburgh Castle, Skara Brae, Fort George and numerous smaller sites, which together draw more than 5 million visitors per year.

We’re also responsible for internationally significant collections including more than 5 million drawings, photographs, negatives and manuscripts, along with 20 million aerial images of locations across the world.

We invest about £14 million a year in national and local organisations, supporting building repairs, ancient monuments, archaeological work, the Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme and the voluntary sector.

Our conservation experts provide guidance, training and technical research into Scotland’s built environment. Through our outreach programme, we promote community and individual learning engagement with Scotland’s heritage. We contribute to the Scottish Government’s strategy to tackle climate change and reduce Scotland’s carbon footprint.
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Urban Vision Enterprise is a social enterprise providing professional services in planning, regeneration, economic development and third sector organisational development. We are Chartered Town Pla...
Urban Vision Enterprise is a social enterprise providing professional services in planning, regeneration, economic development and third sector organisational development.

We are Chartered Town Planners specialising in …

- Planning mediation
- town centres and high streets
- heritage-led regeneration and conservation
- urban design, including design review
- community engagement and consultation
- housing needs and sites assessment
- feasibility and viability studies
- project business plans
- community-led development and projects
- training, continuing professional development (CPD) and education
- authoring of guidance and briefings
- third sector (not-for-profit) organisational development.

Our clients

Clients include government and funding bodies, UK and national professional bodies and membership organisations, local authorities, parish councils, neighbourhood forums, third sector bodies and local community groups. These include the Heritage Lottery Fund, Locality and the National Trust. Urban VisionEnterprise directors have extensive experience of dealing with urban and rural areas, including city and town centres and villages all around the country.

Urban Vision Enterprise is an IHBC recognised historic environment service provider (HESPR), and a corporate partner with Design Council. We are also ISO9001 registered.
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Established in 1959, COTAC’s founding principle was in its recognition of the need for specialists to properly specify and oversee work involved in repairing and conserving historic buildings and chur...
Established in 1959, COTAC’s founding principle was in its recognition of the need for specialists to properly specify and oversee work involved in repairing and conserving historic buildings and churches. Over the years COTAC has persistently and influentially worked to lift standards, develop training qualifications and build networks across the conservation, repair and maintenance sector of the construction industry. As a Charity this has involved working influentially with national agencies, professional and standard setting bodies, educational establishments and training interests.

The Council's 21st century objectives are to advance the education and training of all those involved in the protection and preservation of the historic environment that is of cultural, architectural or historical value, and to provide knowledge in support of training and education in the arts and skills required to protect and preserve it. To advance conservation education and training and support its knowledge base, COTAC will adopt an integrated lay, craft, specialist and professional approach, whilst engaging with a wide range of interested parties to achieve its aims.
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COTAC is a UK registered charity No 1162750. The charitable purposes of COTAC are as follows:

- Set, maintain and promote standards for conservation education and training;
- Develop, produce and promote education and training materials:
- Collaborate with other organisations, voluntary bodies and agencies with interests in conservation with a view to influencing and promoting relevant issues;
- Promote courses at all levels in conservation of the historic environment which are relevant and in accordance with recognised criteria;
- Publish relevant material;
- Arrange seminars, conferences and participate in exhibitions relating to relevant heritage issues;
- Provide bursaries and other support for relevant studies and course attendance.
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Ulster Architectural Heritage is the lead independent voice for built heritage in Ulster. A not for profit organisation, UAH works to promote the value of built heritage, its protection, conservation,...
Ulster Architectural Heritage is the lead independent voice for built heritage in Ulster. A not for profit organisation, UAH works to promote the value of built heritage, its protection, conservation, and regeneration for people and communities. The Society produces books, organises lectures and outings, undertakes planning campaigns, consultancy work and works with other bodies to raise awareness of the built environment.

UAH also run and maintain the Heritage at Risk NI register in partnership with the Historic Environment Division of the Department for Communities.

Promotion– highlighting the significance and value of the historic environment by encouraging people, communities and their elected representatives to engage with it.

Protection– promoting recognition of the fragility of the historic environment and ways in which it might be better protected.

Conservation– promoting the care, restoration and repair of the historic environment, and traditional building skills essential to assist with this.

Regeneration– promoting heritage-led regeneration, highlighting ways in which it can be achieved in order to contribute positively to social, cultural and economic wellbeing.
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The Traditional Architecture Group of the Royal Institute of British Architects was founded in 2003 in response to the growing number of architectural practices and architects in Britain that were bui...
The Traditional Architecture Group of the Royal Institute of British Architects was founded in 2003 in response to the growing number of architectural practices and architects in Britain that were building traditional buildings. It was clear that the cause of traditional architecture could be well served by forming a group with the expressed aim of promoting traditional architecture both within the profession and within the wider community. The TAG Constitution states:

“The aims of the society are to celebrate the highest achievements of the past as a living source for modern inspiration. The group seeks to work within architectural, planning and educational disciplines to promote the values of a traditional approach in architecture and design. The group will provide mutual support, a meeting point and a venue for the exchange of ideas for those individuals interesting in or practicing contemporary traditional architecture. Additionally, we also aim to support the diversity of individuals and correlated trades dedicated to supporting the knowledge of craft and design values associated with traditional architecture.”

Many people today yearn for a better quality of environment in their cities, towns and countryside. All too often, where changes do occur, the results represent a degradation of what was there before. We need to learn how to reshape our built environment in a way that reflects the desires and values of the community.

Traditional architects understand that buildings of the past are uniquely capable of satisfying people’s needs. In the past buildings were designed to be beautiful as well as well as functional. Architects were schooled in a tradition that had evolved over millennia - one that totally integrated the practical and aesthetic requirements of buildings.

Despite a century of mechanisation traditional skill and knowledge have never lost and some architects in Britain and elsewhere continued steadfastly to practise and develop traditional architecture. The members of this Traditional Architecture Group are heirs to this continuity.

Traditional architecture teaches us that by seeking to create and to recognise beauty we establish a contact with our own sense of humanity – a humanity that is shared by all. Traditional architecture comes in many different styles and forms, for it is produced by many different individuals and cultures and so variety is an essential aspect of it. But whatever its origins it is always accessible to all.

Traditionalists believe that, however much the times we live in might be subject to change, there are basic human values which do not change. Our values in respect of the built environment are an example of this. This is clear for when we look at great architecture of one hundred, five hundred, two thousand years ago its power is undiminished.

The Traditional Architecture Group is committed to developing the values established by long tradition and adapting them to the modern world. Traditionalism looks to the past only to see the future more clearly. In the new century traditional architecture is growing worldwide. Traditionalism is the solid, viable, long term future for architecture.

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The Scottish Civic Trust was set up in 1967, to help people connect to their built heritage and take a leading role in guiding its development. In its infancy, it successfully campaigned for the resto...
The Scottish Civic Trust was set up in 1967, to help people connect to their built heritage and take a leading role in guiding its development. In its infancy, it successfully campaigned for the restoration of Edinburgh’s New Town, was instrumental in the revitalisation of New Lanark and can also claim credit for bringing Doors Open Days to the United Kingdom.

Through supporting amenity groups, the Trust’s original objectives were:

- Well-informed public concern for the environment of town and country
- High quality in planning and in new architecture
- The conservation and, where necessary, adaptation for re-use of older buildings of distinction or historic interest
- Knowledgeable and therefore effective comment in planning matters
- The elimination of ugliness, whether resulting from social deprivation, bad design or neglect

Broadly speaking, we are still working towards the same objectives today.

We have a small staff team that works hard to achieve our objectives, working under the guidance of our Board. Everything we do centres around the following core values:

- We are robust and independent in advocating for Scotland’s places and spaces
- We are positive about the future of the built environment
- We lead thinking on Scotland’s civic spaces
- We collaborate across the heritage sector and beyond to develop ideas that tackle exclusion
- We support community groups looking after their locality

We are proud to represent Scotland’s civic sector and strive to ensure our amenity groups are active, empowered, and educated to make a difference in their locality.

We are fortunate to own our own eighteenth century townhouse in Glasgow, where we have maintained our offices since 1995. To celebrate 25 years of calling Tobacco Merchant’s House home, the Trust launched its “Written in Stone” campaign on 12th October 2020. The campaign seeks to establish a capital fund to cover the cost of future major repair works and ensure the preservation of this historic gem and the many stories held within its walls. We invite all with a passion for Scotland’s buildings and civic movement to contribute to the Written in Stone campaign by leaving a gift in their Will to protect the Tobacco Merchant’s House for future generations.
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Everyone has driven or walked past a forlorn and unloved historic building at some time. You may have wondered why it isn’t being used or why someone doesn’t do something with it. The answer is often ...
Everyone has driven or walked past a forlorn and unloved historic building at some time. You may have wondered why it isn’t being used or why someone doesn’t do something with it. The answer is often complex and the solutions equally so. It takes a special group of people to identify a way forward and restore these buildings to the benefit of the community.

Scottish Historic Buildings Trust (SHBT) is a dynamic and innovative charity that does just that. It is dedicated to regenerating significant historic buildings for the benefit of others throughout the whole of Scotland.
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Our Mission “The encouragement, advancement and furtherance of the study and knowledge of the antiquities and history of this and other countries.” The Society of Antiquaries of London Royal Ch...
Our Mission

“The encouragement, advancement and furtherance of the study and knowledge of the antiquities and history of this and other countries.” The Society of Antiquaries of London Royal Charter (1751).

Our Values - Fellowship, Conservation, Research and Dissemination

The Society of Antiquaries of London is an educational charity that promotes understanding of the human past and recognises distinction in this field through election to its Fellowship.

The Society was founded in 1707 and today our 3,000 Fellows include many distinguished archaeologists and art and architectural historians holding positions of responsibility across the cultural heritage. The Fellowship is international in its reach and its interests are inclusive of all aspects of the material past.

As a registered charity (207237), the Society’s principal objectives are to foster public understanding of that heritage, to support research and communicate the results and to engage in the formulation of public policy on the care of our historic environment and cultural property.

We support those charitable objectives on a daily basis through our Library and Museum collections (at Burlington House and at Kelmscott Manor), through our conservation and research grant awards, our programme of events (lectures and seminars), communications such as publications, our website and our e-newsletter.

The Society of Antiquaries receives no direct support from public funds.

Our Strategic Objectives

- To conserve and develop the research and educational potential of the buildings, collections and library at Burlington House and Kelmscott Manor and to make these resources more accessible to Fellows and the wider public.
- To engage, enthuse and foster the Fellowship and staff in pursuing the aims of the Society to further our understanding of the past and influence the heritage sector and the general public.
- To ensure the Society remains fit to meet its objectives now and in the future.
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Founded in 1780 and incorporated by Royal Charter in 1783 the Society’s purpose is “to investigate both antiquities and natural and civil history in general, with the intention that the talents of man...
Founded in 1780 and incorporated by Royal Charter in 1783 the Society’s purpose is “to investigate both antiquities and natural and civil history in general, with the intention that the talents of mankind should be cultivated and that the study of natural and useful sciences should be promoted.”

The Society of Antiquaries of Scotland is proud to be an inclusive, anti-racist, pro-equality and pro-diversity heritage charity. We believe that no one holds a monopoly on Scotland’s history and that it should be shared by and for everyone. For over 240 years, we have provided expertise, support and resources to enhance and promote the understanding and enjoyment of Scotland’s past around the world. We facilitate research and innovation, advocating as an independent voice for heritage matters, and sharing knowledge of the past with everyone; we are committed to working towards equality and accessibility in the Scottish heritage sector and beyond.

The antiquities that society members, like Sir Walter Scott and Alexander Rhind, originally collected, form the basis of the collection at the National Museums of Scotland (NMS), having been gifted to the nation by the Society in the mid nineteenth century.

Two hundred years on we continue to promote the understanding and conservation of Scotland’s historical and archaeological environment for the benefit of all. Today we are an independent charity stimulating discussion and collaboration and supporting research.

Increasingly we’re involved in helping to translate the past for a contemporary audience, highlighting its relevance today. We publish high quality books and peer reviewed papers, run an annual programme of lectures and conferences (such as the prestigious Rhind Lectures) and administer research grants and prizes.

We also act as advocates for the heritage sector, responding to government consultations and chairing meetings and symposia. We are an impartial voice for Scotland’s past and a focal point for its diverse strands.

The Society is governed by a voluntary Council and run by a small staff. It is mainly funded by membership subscription with several thousand Fellows spread around the world all connected through their interest in Scotland’s past.

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The SAI brings together the world’s leading architectural artists, illustrators, model makers, animators and photographers - dynamic, progressive, professionals who bring architecture to life. Members...
The SAI brings together the world’s leading architectural artists, illustrators, model makers, animators and photographers - dynamic, progressive, professionals who bring architecture to life. Members of the SAI work in all disciplines and for architects, developers and designers in all industry sectors. The society uses the full spectrum of techniques from time-honoured traditional methods, including watercolour and pencil to the latest cutting-edge CGI technology, photo-real imagery and animation.
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The Sustainable Traditional Buildings Alliance is an independent programme run by the Sustainable Development Foundation on behalf of the STBA Steering Group - an alliance of not-for-profit constructi...
The Sustainable Traditional Buildings Alliance is an independent programme run by the Sustainable Development Foundation on behalf of the STBA Steering Group - an alliance of not-for-profit construction, conservation and educational organisations which includes English Heritage, Cadw and Historic Scotland.

Measures to reduce the environmental and energy impact of the existing UK building stock include improving, refurbishing and retro-fitting. Within this context there is an assumption that traditional (pre-1919) buildings - solid wall/permeable construction comprising around 23% of the total UK building stock - perform poorly and consequently require retro-fitting. While radically improving the performance of the traditional built environment is vital and urgent, a considerable lack of knowledge, incomplete data and relevant skills exists in this arena.

An immediate objective of the STBA is to focus on the risks and benefits associated with generic approaches to repair, maintenance and retro-fitting of traditional buildings, in particular those earmarked for the Green Deal packages.
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The Scottish Stained Glass Trust (SSGT) is a charity registered in Scotland. We are interested in stained glass in every shape and form — designing, making, creating, installing (etc.). We focus espec...
The Scottish Stained Glass Trust (SSGT) is a charity registered in Scotland. We are interested in stained glass in every shape and form — designing, making, creating, installing (etc.). We focus especially on stained glass in Scotland by any artist from anywhere. We puzzle over old windows trying to identify artists, dates, etc. We try to encourage present day artists who are using this medium to experiment in architectural, sculptural and free standing outdoor forms as well as in traditional windows. We need people to help us by sending in photographs, information and ideas. We are trying to create inventories of Scottish artists including their work in all corners of the world.

Since the recreation of the Scottish Parliament in 1999 the Scottish Executive has identified the importance of cultural activities as a contributor to national well-being, and recent ventures in literature, drama, and music testify to this encouraging cultural atmosphere. However, general awareness of Scotland’s stained lass can be patchy to say the least.

We began as the stained glass Symposium in 2003 when Alison Robertson was working for the Church of Scotland and dealing with applications for new stained glass windows. This was an unstructured forum with only one topic — stained glass. There discussions took place three times a year and the organization developed into the independent Scottish Stained Glass Trust.

The Symposium members include stained glass artists, conservators, historians, and representatives of religious, secular, charitable or public bodies, all having an interest in stained glass in Scotland.

The Symposium has concerns about the proper maintenance of glass, which is too often left in the hands of well-meaning but inadequately skilled carers.

In partnership with the University of Edinburgh Scottish Studies Archive the Scottish Stained Glass Trust made a film Crear McCartney’s Dolphinton Windows (2013). This engaging film showing the making of the windows from start to finish and hearing Crear’s story about the making runs for 45 minutes.

In 2011 the Symposium ran a pilot project to record stained glass in their new national register of stained glass in Scotland. In Autumn 2015, the online Database, hosted by Scran, was launched at www.stainedglasstrustscotland.org.uk. Our Excel database is gradually being converted to the Scran format and new entries are being submitted monthly. A training manual is currently being developed in order for additional volunteers to contribute to the Database.
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Scotland’s Churches Trust advances the preservation, promotion and understanding of Scotland’s rich architectural heritage represented in its churches and places of worship of all denominations. Sc...
Scotland’s Churches Trust advances the preservation, promotion and understanding of Scotland’s rich architectural heritage represented in its churches and places of worship of all denominations.

Scotland’s Churches Trust endeavours:

to assist in the preservation and upkeep of churches, through funding and advice
to advance understanding of the history, art, architecture and traditions of churches, and also their position as a focal point in the community
to encourage the opening of churches and the welcoming of visitors, tourists and pilgrims
to publish information on churches, including details of services, events, and opening arrangements
to provide advice to congregations on the care and reception of visitors and the production of historical and other information.

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The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales has a leading national role in developing and promoting understanding of the archaeological, built and maritime heritage of Wales,...
The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales has a leading national role in developing and promoting understanding of the archaeological, built and maritime heritage of Wales, as the originator, curator and supplier of authoritative information for individual, corporate and governmental decision makers, researchers, and the general public.

The landscape and built heritage of Wales result from people’s interaction with the natural world over thousands of years. Since it was established in 1908, the Royal Commission has led the way in researching and explaining the remains of that interaction – the archaeology and the historic buildings we see around us.

The Royal Commission holds a unique collection of photographs, maps, images, publications and reports within its archive, The National Monuments Record of Wales, which can be consulted on our online database Coflein or by making an enquiry to our Enquiry Services section.

The Royal Commission is based in Aberystwyth and is sponsored by the Welsh Government. The Chair and Commissioners direct the investigations by our expert staff, who employ the latest technology to provide authoritative and up to date information to the public.
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The Royal Society of Ulster Architects (RSUA) is the professional body for chartered architects in Northern Ireland with c.900 members. It was established in 1901 and then its objectives included t...
The Royal Society of Ulster Architects (RSUA) is the professional body for chartered architects in Northern Ireland with c.900 members.

It was established in 1901 and then its objectives included the general advancement of architecture and the promotion and maintenance of a high standard of qualification in the profession, both of which are every bit as relevant today.

A direct alliance was formed with the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in 1925 and the RSUA continues to act for the RIBA in Northern Ireland.

The RSUA is committed to a comprehensive continuing professional development strategy and is a vital information network for architects providing a support service on a wide range of issues including contract and legal matters, professional indemnity, changes in planning law, building regulations and government legislation.
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AABC: The Register of Architects Accredited in Building Conservation exists for the benefit of clients and the structures they are responsible for. AABC is an independent accreditation body establi...
AABC: The Register of Architects Accredited in Building Conservation exists for the benefit of clients and the structures they are responsible for.

AABC is an independent accreditation body established in 1999 for and by skilled conservation architects. The primary purpose of the AABC Register is to protect the historic built environment from damaging interventions devised by people not skilled in historic building conservation and adaptation. It does so by publishing, for the benefit of clients, a register of architects whose work and skills in building conservation have been established by peer assessment moderated by a lay assessor representing the client.

There are no charges for clients to use the Register. The scheme is self financing – all successful applicants pay an initial and annual registration fee which covers the costs of a part-time Administrator, the website, and the administration of the assessment processes. The AABC Register is not subsidised by commercial or professional organisational sponsorship.

With well over 400 building conservation accredited architects on the AABC Register, our open access website is designed to assist you to locate and engage an architect whose experience in building conservation and adaptation is assured by a rigorous assessment process.

This is based on the individual’s on-site experience, and is assessed by a volunteer team of two AABC registered architects and one conservation conscious non-architect, usually from a client background. The lay assessor focuses on the applicants’ client-friendly aspect, especially their ability to communicate clearly, concisely and comprehensively to a non-architect.

To achieve successful AABC Registration, architects submit details of 5 examples of their work completed within the last 5 years, illustrating their professional expertise and demonstrating their experience of building conservation and adaptation. The opportunity is also provided for applicants to demonstrate their insights, understanding and application of the building conservation principles codified by the International Council On Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS). All AABC registered architects are re-assessed every 5 years.

There are two categories of AABC Registered architect to distinguish between architects accredited as “hands on” designers and deliverers of building conservation and adaptation -and those who act in a “hands off” capacity such as in a consultative, educational or advisory role. The latter are distinguished by the initials CA - Consultant Architect.

In the selection of an architect for a particular commission it is always important to have met the individual, know more about their experiences with similar projects, resources, personal qualities, managerial skills and reputation. It is normal for them to provide details of their practice and projects or assignments carried out and for a potential client to see the latter and make appropriate enquiries.

Full details of the AABC Register’s processes, procedures, application forms and advice to applicants – including key competences and the ICOMOS core conservation principles - are accessible to all on the website.

AABC also operates a Mentor scheme which offers a structured programme of mentoring and guidance to younger architects who wish to become accredited.
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PastMap lets you view information about the archaeology, architecture and landscapes of Scotland on one single map. It is managed by Historic Environment Scotland (HES) along with partners from local ...
PastMap lets you view information about the archaeology, architecture and landscapes of Scotland on one single map. It is managed by Historic Environment Scotland (HES) along with partners from local government and archaeological curators, and holds data from a growing number of other sources.

You can look at different layers, such as local authority Historic Environment Records (HERs), or Listed Building data from HES. You can choose to display layers on a map or aerial photograph and you can turn the layers on or off. Use the search or zoom tools to explore the map and delve into historic sites across Scotland.

When you find a site of interest – like a standing stone, a castle or a designed landscape – click on it to show more detail in the sidebar. Select a group of objects by drawing a shape or circle around them. Once you have made your selection, you can download a report of up to 1,000 records to view later.

PastMap is intended to be used as a portal, leading to more detailed information held by HES and our partners, and is not designed for use by professional contractors in the local authority planning process.

Please note that local HER records contain much more detailed and more up to date information than is currently available here. Please contact the relevant authority direct for all planning matters or queries relating to their records: see the 'HER Participation' link below for details.
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PAS is Scotland’s leading place and active citizenship charity. We support a planning system that is inclusive, positive and innovative, where individuals and communities help shape the future of thei...
PAS is Scotland’s leading place and active citizenship charity. We support a planning system that is inclusive, positive and innovative, where individuals and communities help shape the future of their place. We are a volunteer-led organisation supported by a network of over 400 specialist volunteers, including professionals from across the built environment sector. We have continuously held Investing in Volunteers status since 2008. Find out more about PAS here.

Who we help - We help individuals and community organisations to get involved in decision-making in the planning system in an impartial, open and inclusive way. We provide skills training and support for community groups, planners, elected members and public bodies. In particular, we work to engage children and young people in their places and offer support to seldom-heard groups who often cannot readily engage in the planning system.

What we do - We help people to understand and influence the place where they live by providing impartial advice, skills training and supporting communities to develop and deliver their own aspirations for their place. We offer a free, impartial and confidential planning advice service, provided by our specialist volunteers, all of whom are chartered planners. Find out how to submit your enquiry.

How to get involved - For free, impartial and confidential advice on planning issues, please submit an enquiry through our Advice Service. To find out more, visit the blog or projects page. If you’re a community group or public body and would like to find out more about how we could assist you, please get in touch.
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The Open Spaces Society is Britain’s oldest national conservation body, founded in 1865. - We campaign for stronger protection and opportunities for everyone to enjoy commons, greens and paths. - ...
The Open Spaces Society is Britain’s oldest national conservation body, founded in 1865.

- We campaign for stronger protection and opportunities for everyone to enjoy commons, greens and paths.
- We defend open spaces against loss and pressures from development.
- We assist local communities so that they can safeguard their green spaces for future generations to enjoy.

The Open Spaces Society was founded in 1865 as the Commons Preservation Society.* It is Britain’s oldest national conservation body. Its founders and early members included John Stuart Mill, Lord Eversley, Sir Robert Hunter and Octavia Hill. The last two founded the National Trust in 1895 along with Canon Rawnsley.

Lord Eversley, as George Lefevre, was a Liberal MP and became a junior minister at the Board of Trade in Gladstone’s government. He held a variety of posts including Commissioner of Works. He opened Hampton Court Park, Kew Gardens and Regent’s Park to the public.

Over the last century the society has preserved commons for the enjoyment of the public. It has also been active in protecting the historical and vital rights-of-way network through England and Wales.

Our early successes included saving Hampstead Heath from gravel extraction, Epping Forest, Wimbledon Common, Ashdown Forest and the Malvern Hills, among many other places.

After both world wars the society’s difficult task was to reinstate much common land which had been used for defence and food production.

In the late 1960s, following the enactment of the Commons Registration Act 1965, we worked hard to register common land and common rights, in the far-too-short three years allowed by the act. Many commons were lost through failure to register them.

Much of our work is about the preservation and creation of public paths – footpaths was included in the society’s title after it amalgamated with the National Footpaths Preservation Society in 1899. Before the introduction of official maps of public paths in the early 1950s, the public did not know where the paths were. We helped to campaign for paths to be shown on Ordnance Survey maps.

After several changes of name, the society is now known formally as the Open Spaces Society. Today the Society has its headquarters in the attractive town of Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire. It has over 2,300 members throughout England and Wales.

Our principal work includes helping our members protect their local common land, town and village greens, open spaces and public paths, and answering their queries. We advise the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and National Assembly for Wales on applications for works on common land, and we are notified by local authorities whenever there is a proposal to alter the route of a public right of way. We campaign for changes in legislation to protect paths and spaces.

We have always been at the forefront of the campaigns to protect common land. In 1986 the Common Land Forum, comprising all the interests in common land, recommended that there should be a public right to walk on all commons coupled with management of the land. (All commons have a landowner, ranging from a public body to a private individual.)

The then government backed the forum’s proposals for legislation and promised to introduce such a law – but it broke the promise. More than a decade later, we won the right to walk on all those commons which previously had no access, subject to certain restrictions, under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000.

There is a lot for a small society like ours to do, but we are persistent in our defence of your rights to enjoy the countryside and towns. We greatly appreciate the support of our members.
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