Campaign to Protect Rural England Standing up for your countryside

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Tranquil places under threat

Tranquillity is at risk from new road schemes Tranquillity is at risk from new road schemes Photo: © Highways England

The countryside is our greatest reserve of tranquillity. People seek it there and they value it. Survey after survey tells us so. But the remaining most tranquil areas are often fragmented and continue to be eroded by development.

It is claimed only a small part of England is built on so we must accept losing another 1 or 2% of the countryside to development. Our maps give new insights into this and prove that such claims ignore the ‘shadow of development’: England feels built-up precisely because so much of the country (half according to our 2007 intrusion maps) is affected or ‘intruded upon’ by the sight or sound of roads, aircraft, railways, urban areas, mines and power stations and power lines.

Yet, despite existing levels of disturbance, the remaining areas are at risk from:

  • The Government’s huge £15 billion Roads Investment Strategy with 1300 miles of new lanes and over 100 road schemes.
  • The continued loss of farmland and woodland to development. Satellite data shows 3,500 hectares or an area the size of Gloucester was lost to development in England in each year from 2006 to 2012.
  • New power lines to service planned nuclear power stations with 37 miles in North Somerset and 15 miles in Cumbria within the Lake District national park alone.
  • Aviation growth in the South East with a new runway proposed at Heathrow or Gatwick.
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