Meet our president and vice presidents
Pottery designer and businesswoman Emma Bridgewater is our president, joining us in 2016 and becoming a driving force behind our new brand and purpose as CPRE The countryside charity.
Emma is a household name for her popular pottery designs, with her business employing 270 craftsmen in Stoke-on-Trent. A former resident of rural Norfolk, now living in Oxfordshire, Emma is a joyous advocate of the wellbeing time in the countryside brings, but has a clear perspective on the pressures our countryside faces and is passionate about the benefits of urban regeneration. She has been particularly vocal in supporting CPRE’s campaign to prioritise investment in brownfield land over releasing further greenfield sites for development and in our push for an all-in deposit return system.
Former poet laureate Andrew Motion was CPRE’s president from 2012 to 2016 and continues to support us as a vice president. Having grown up in the village of Stisted in Essex, he is passionate about the English countryside and its place in our cultural heritage.
As president, Andrew played a leading role in saving Laurie Lee’s Slad Valley from development, while helping to raise publicity for many other locally-led campaigns. He gave great impetus to our work to promote brownfield sites as a sustainable alternative to building on the Green Belt – of which Andrew has been a staunch defender. From his new home in Baltimore, USA, Andrew continues to play an active role, particularly supporting our call for all children to benefit from visits to National Parks.
Christine Drury has been an active volunteer in CPRE since 2004, including serving as a member of the board of trustees and at CPRE Kent. She is now one of our vice presidents.
Her roles in CPRE include South East regional chair and vice chair of CPRE Kent. This followed a career in Unilever which included pioneering senior roles in environmental management and NGO engagement. She is passionate about the landscape and community of the countryside, and holds other local and national trusteeships.
Ali Miraj is a social entrepreneur, political commentator, DJ and financier. In 2012, he founded the Contrarian Prize which recognises the independence, courage and sacrifice of British public figures whose ideas challenge the status quo.
He has had a deep affection for the English countryside and strongly believes in the importance of people connecting with the beauty and tranquillity of nature. He served as a CPRE trustee from 2009–2014.
Dame Fiona Reynolds DBE
Dame Fiona Reynolds DBE became Master of Emmanuel College, Cambridge in 2012. Before this, she was Director-General of the National Trust, where she raised the profile of the trust’s work in the countryside.
Fiona was previously Director of the Council for the Protection of Rural England (now Campaign to Protect Rural England) and Secretary to the Council for National Parks (now Campaign to Protect National Parks).
Fiona holds many non-Executive roles and is a Member of the Advisory Panel for the Dasgupta Review of the Economics of Biodiversity. She was also was a Panel Member for the Glover Review of Protected Landscapes and Adviser to the Building Better Building Beautiful Commission.