THE Open Spaces Society is celebrating the registration of a new village green at Portishead’s former golf course in North Somerset, thereby securing it for ever. 

The land was purchased from Bristol City Council by the then Woodspring District Council, with a covenant which said that it was to be used as an open space for the enjoyment of the public.

It then passed to North Somerset Council, however eight years ago, local walkers found that the gate leading onto the golf course had been locked. 

They then discovered that there were plans to develop the land, supported by Portishead Town Council, and they started a campaign with a protest walk and petitions.

The local election in May 2019 changed the profile of North Somerset Council and Portishead Town Council. 

Both councils agreed to follow the advice of the Open Spaces Society and voluntarily to register the land as a village green. 

Now that the land is registered local people have the right of recreation there, and the land is safe from development and encroachment for ever.

Ann Townsend, a member of the Open Spaces Society who led the campaign to save the area said: "The land is approximately 12.5 hectares and has been used by the community for a number of activities over a long period.  We thank the Open Spaces Society for all its advice over the years, we found its support invaluable.

"There are so many people in the community to thank; they have provided support at council meetings, given their time and resources freely, and at times acted out of their comfort zone to fight for what they believe is right. Portishead we are proud of you!"

Kate Ashbrook, general secretary of the Open Spaces Society, added: "We congratulate the Portishead activists and the county and town councils on this splendid outcome. 

"Registering land as a green is a straightforward way of protecting it for ever for informal recreation. 

"The society, through its Grant A Green campaign, encourages landowners, and especially local authorities, voluntarily to register their land as greens to protect it for public enjoyment."

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.