We all value the English countryside for:
- its beauty – from the grandest landscapes down to a tiny patch of roadside wildflowers;
- its tranquillity – from the remotest, highest hilltop to a woodland walk next to a big town; and
- its diversity – from rugged, open fells to patchworks of copses and meadows.
But parts of this amazing landscape are deteriorating. Hedgerows and woodland are going, large parts of the countryside are being covered with shopping centres and other developments, and farmers are finding it harder to survive.
This doesn’t have to happen. If we plan properly, we can manage communities that live more closely together and still have our green spaces. But we need to challenge the onslaught of new developments that cause light and noise pollution and damage the quality of people’s lives.
The countryside is a wonderful, life-enhancing resource for all of us. But when it’s gone, it’s gone.
Our viewCPRE has continually campaigned to preserve our landscape. We have made a huge difference over the years, particularly in establishing Green Belts and National Parks.Now we have set out our Vision for the Countryside: 2026 which describes the countryside CPRE wants to see in our centenary year of 2026. It sets out a countryside that is used and valued by everyone, and where people are in tune with the environment and aware of their impact on it.A beautiful and living countryside, accessible to all, has always been valuable. In tough economic times, when everyone is under increasing stress it should be priceless.