This is a print preview of this page

A printed page wil not show this message. Return to page.


Farmers are responsible for our unique landscapes. Farmers are responsible for our unique landscapes. Photo: © David Hughes/

CPRE view

Much of the character and beauty of the English countryside comes from thousands of years of cultivation and grazing by livestock. The countryside and communities across rural England depend on the success of farming. Farming can and must play a key role in creating a living, diverse and beautiful countryside with prosperous healthy communities. 

CPRE and farming

Farming is special, not only because it produces 60% of the essential food we need, supports the economy of rural areas and raw materials for food production, the country’s largest industry. It also manages some 70% of the land surface of England and is central to numerous benefits of the countryside including:

During the past 50 years many of these benefits have been compromised by more intensive and industrialised farming. Key wildlife habitats have been lost, including more than 185,000 miles of hedgerows and 97% of wildlife-rich lowland meadows. Species decline, soil degradation and water pollution continue at unacceptable levels alongside newer threats such as:

Protecting the landscape has been a core aim for CPRE since its foundation. For more than 50 years we have campaigned to influence the policies and programmes which, through food and farming, affect how the countryside is managed and may alter its character, landscapes, natural habitats, natural resources and economy.

We want to see the Government: 


Farming cows WEB

New model farming: resilience through diversity

The first paper in CPRE's new Food and Farming Foresight series suggests that, following the EU referendum decision, there is an opportunity for major policy change to develop a new vision and policies that will establish a sound future for farming. 

Be inspired:

farming sunset WEB

The future of agricultural policy is in our hands

Presented with a once-in-a-generation opportunity to decide how to shape farming policy and influence the nature of the English landscape over the coming decades, we reflect on the future of agricultural policy in the wake of our recent roundtable event.


Richard Fraser Flickr

Diversity, resilience and farming beyond food

Graeme Willis, the author of our new report 'New Model Farming: Resilience through diversity', gives insight into how Brexit has the opportunity to take farming away from industrialisation and instead encourage more diversity and environmental protection.


tractor 223x149px

Soil: not a four letter word

The word soil has many connotations. Unfortunately, quite a few are bad. It might be one reason why we consistently fail to appreciate how precious and extraordinary soil is. As a consequence, we give poor protection to this fundamental natural asset.


The issues:

East Yorkshire Wolds farming copyright emjay smith Shutterstock 223x149px

The future of farming and the countryside

Farming is shaped by policies, markets and technological change. It has been for centuries. Farming now faces multiple challenges to meet the rising demand for food while restoring lost and damaged nature.


Cheshire double rainbow copyright Stanth Shutterstock 223x149px

Our campaign successes

For more than 50 years CPRE has campaigned to prevent damage to the countryside from the intensive and industrialised farming that threatens to alter its character and features irrevocably.

© Campaign to Protect Rural England, 5-11 Lavington Street, London, SE1 0NZ | Tel: 020 7981 2800 | Email: |

Registered charity number: 1089685, registered company number: 4302973

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. If that's okay, just continue browsing - or see our cookies policy for ways to opt out.
Cookies Policy