22 Ideas That Saved The English Countryside is a new book written by Peter Waine, former CPRE chairman, and Oliver Hilliam, senior communications and information officer at CPRE.
22 Ideas That Saved The English Countryside
The book tells the story of the evolution of England’s relationship with the countryside and our desire to defend it from the forces of industrialisation and urban sprawl - from the birth of England’s conservation movement with the Commons Preservation Society in 1865, to the recent campaign to save England’s forests.
At the heart of the story is CPRE – celebrating our 90th anniversary this year having been created in 1926 to unite 22 existing organisations (The National Trust and RSPB among them) in “concerted action”. The Spectator found a good omen in the number: ‘22 – the length of a chain or cricket pitch, the unit of the square acre – is quite the most English of all the numbers.’
The book looks at the personalities behind CPRE’s earliest successes and celebrates some of our most influential campaigns – including Green Belts, national parks and undergrounding pylons. Well-known figures including Melyvn Bragg, Julia Bradbury, Jo Brand and Tony Robinson provide an introduction to each of the 22 chapters.
Peter Waine, co-author of the book, says: “We hope this book can offer an optimistic antidote to the ‘doom and gloom’ of much modern-day environmentalism. While threats remain, and there is no room for complacency, we take heart from the fact that these 22 Ideas have stood the test of time so convincingly. The fact they gained popular currency in the face of overwhelming opposition proves that the right combination of passion, principle, and not a little genius, can allow David to beat Goliath.
"We must continue to take inspiration from the pioneers who have handed down to our generation something which remains the envy of the world – the unique beauty of the English countryside.”
Where to buy
The book is available to buy online from Blackwell's, as well as from the usual shops and websites (rrp £25).
All proceeds from the book go to CPRE.