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Campaign to Protect Rural England announces chief executive is moving on

10 February 2017

Shaun Spiers to be director of Green Alliance

CPRE congratulates its chief executive Shaun Spiers who is leaving to head up independent think tank and charity Green Alliance, which is coordinating the environment sector’s response to Brexit through the Greener UK Coalition.
Shaun has led CPRE for almost 13 years and says although he’s sad to be leaving, he predicts a great future for the organisation.

‘CPRE is hugely effective in standing up for the English countryside and I am proud to have led it for so long. The organisation is in a good place with strong finances, an ambitious new strategic plan and a great track record of recent successes both in stopping damaging development and promoting changes that improve the countryside.

‘I have loved working with CPRE’s terrific team of staff and our dedicated branches and volunteers across England. But Brexit presents the biggest challenge and the greatest opportunities the environment and countryside have faced in Britain for at least a generation. The opportunity to lead Green Alliance at this time was too good to resist.’

During his time as chief executive CPRE has played a leading role in resisting several major assaults on the planning system and Green Belt policy; gaining funding to underground overhead wires in a designated landscape; winning designation of the South Downs National Park; and securing a charge for single use carrier bags. Under Shaun’s leadership, CPRE developed a progressive vision for the future of the countryside, and played a major role not only in opposing inappropriate development, but promoting better development, in particular affordable rural housing.

Chair Su Sayer expressed her thanks for all Shaun’s work at CPRE and said he would be much missed. ‘Shaun has taken CPRE from strength to strength. He has been an inspirational chief executive and we have been fortunate to have him at the helm for so long. We wish him every success and look forward to working with him in his new role.’

Shaun will move to Green Alliance at the beginning of June.



Notes to editors

Shaun has led CPRE since 2004. Previously he was chief executive of ABCUL, the credit union trade association. From 1994 to 1999, he was an MEP for the South East, serving on the European Parliament’s Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee. He is Vice Chair of Sustain, the alliance for food and farming, was a founder trustee of Civic Voice and is a member of the policy advisory board of the Social Market Foundation. His book, How to build houses and save the countryside will be published by Policy Press in October.

Green Alliance is a charity and independent think tank focused on ambitious leadership for the environment. It has a track record of over 35 years, working with the most influential leaders from the NGO, business, and political communities. Its work generates new thinking and dialogue, and has increased political action and support for environmental solutions in the UK.

Greener UK is a coalition of 13 major environmental organisations, with a combined public membership of 7.9 million. The coalition was launched in December 2016, united in the belief that leaving the EU is a pivotal moment to restore and enhance the UK’s environment.

If you would like to talk to Shaun Spiers in more detail then please contact Jane Seymour on 020 7981 2819 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) fights for a better future for the English countryside. We work locally and nationally to protect, shape and enhance a beautiful, thriving countryside for everyone to value and enjoy. Our members are united in their love for England’s landscapes and rural communities, and stand up for the countryside, so it can continue to sustain, enchant and inspire future generations. Founded in 1926, President: Emma Bridgewater, Patron: Her Majesty The Queen.

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