Kate Ashbrook: 'honour to receive award'. Photo: Andrew McCloy

Kate Ashbrook: 'honour to receive award'. Photo: Andrew McCloy

Britain’s oldest national conservation body has won an inaugural award in memory of a Nobel Prize winner who died last year.

The Open Spaces Society received one of the first ever Elinor Ostrom Awards for its work on common land.

The society was one of eight award winners and was lauded for its long stewardship of the commons and its impact on commons policy and management both in the UK and Japan.

Kate Ashbrook, general secretary of the OSS, said Elinor ‘Lin’ Ostrom of Indiana University, won the Nobel Prize in economics in 2009. “She was an exceptional academic leader on commons and was mentor to thousands of students of commons,” Ms Ashbrook said.

The award, which was established by 15 institutions in her memory, is to promote the work of practitioners and scholars who are involved in commons, and celebrates Lin’s writing on the value of common resources and international collective action.

The Open Spaces Society was nominated for the award by the University of Gloucestershire.

Elinor Ostrom. Photo: Holger Motzkau CC-BY-SA-3.0

Elinor Ostrom. Photo: Holger Motzkau CC-BY-SA-3.0

Ms Ashbrook said: “Elinor Ostrom was a great advocate of the collective management and protection of commons and it is an honour to receive one of the first awards in her memory.

“The Open Spaces Society has been campaigning for common land for nearly 150 years, longer possibly than any other organisation. We have lobbied on behalf of common rightholders and the public to ensure that the many interests in commons are protected and can flourish.

“It is wonderful that we have received this international recognition for our work.

“We are particularly pleased that the range and effectiveness of the society’s work is recognised and commended not only by the Countryside and Community Research Institute, University of Gloucestershire, but also by our referees.”

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