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A beautiful countryside to sustain us all - CPRE manifesto briefing

We need to value and protect the countryside for the countless benefits it provides to our health, prosperity and wellbeing.

This is a detailed briefing based on CPRE's manifesto for the 2015 General Election.

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A little rough guide around the hedges

Why our hedgerows matter and how you can help

This guide is a celebration of hedgerows. We wanted to share our passion for them and encourage more people to care about them too. And to entice you further, we’ve included a handy hedgerow plant identifier for when you’re next exploring our beautiful countryside.

If you would like a printed copy please contact CPRE Publications, tel: 020 7981 2870 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Beauty betrayed

How reckless housing development threatens England's AONBs

Some of England's most beautiful landscapes are under threat. 

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CPRE consultation response to the Industrial Strategy green paper

CPRE responds and provides recommendations to the Government's industrial strategy green paper consultation.

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CPRE written evidence to EAC Inquiry 25-year Plan

A submission of evidence by the Campaign to Protect Rural England

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Developing an Intrusion Map of England

Prepared for CPRE by Land Use Consultants

We have developed a method of mapping areas of intrusion in England. These are areas disturbed by the presence of noise and visual intrusion from major infrastructure such as motorways and A roads, urban areas and airports. The resulting maps show the extent of intrusion in the early 1960s, early 1990s and 2007. This technical report explains how we created our intrusion maps. It gives the distance thresholds which define areas of intrusion and lists the national datasets used. It also includes full statistical tables of areas disturbed and as yet undisturbed by noise and visual intrusion for each time period for England, its regions, counties and unitary authorities.

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England's Fragmented Countryside: Ranking of Counties and Unitary Authorities

Intrusion maps table, giving ranking of counties and unitary authorities by % of total area disturbed by noise and visual intrusion.

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England's hedgerows: don't cut them out!

Making the case for better hedgerow protection

This report calls for the current Hedgerow Regulations to be improved to give local authorities more powers to protect hedgerows that are valued in their local landscape and community. CPRE's survey showed 42 per cent of local councils want hedgerow protection rules to be made simpler to help them achieve this. CPRE believe with the right improvements, Hedgerows Regulations will become an even more effective means of protecting England’s important hedgerows.

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Environmental Principles and Governance after the UK leaves the EU

CPRE responded to the Government consultation on Environmental Principles and Governance, which asked how best to set up a governance framework that supports our environmental protection measures and creates new mechanisms to incentivise environmental improvement.

Our response covers at a high level:

  • the environmental principles we believe must be included in a new Environment Act
  • the means by which these principles should be defined, applied and, if necessary, altered
  • the role a governance body should play in scrutiny and advice in Government policy
  • enforcement mechanisms

The consultation specifically asked what the relationship should be between a new environmental governance body and the planning system. We argued strongly for any new body to advise on national and local planning policy, enforce environmental law, intervene in legal challenges, and hold Government and public bodies to account where there are failures to correctly apply environmental law.

CPRE also supported the responses to the consultation made by Greener UK and Wildlife and Countryside Link.

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Give peace a chance

Has planning policy contributed to rural tranquillity?

Tranquillity is a natural resource, and an essential quality of the countryside. It is a much valued aspect of human experience that CPRE has long championed. Although found in many places, it is the countryside that gives us the best chance to experience it. With its broad views, woodlands and heaths, wildlife, the sounds of nature, massive skies, and open water, the rural environment offers us many opportunities to experience deep tranquillity. It enables us to appreciate the beauty and harmony of the natural world. Tranquillity is a central part of why the countryside matters deeply to so many people and the reason many want to spend time there.

In this report CPRE calls on the new Government to take action to value and protect the character of the countryside, which gives people beautiful and tranquil places to enjoy and enriches their lives. We need to make the tranquillity policy that is already in national planning policy more effective. To do that we need improved guidance and an up-to-date evidence base to support tranquillity policy at local and national level.

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