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AGM and Conference 2019

CPRE AGM and Conference: 26-27 June. The Studio, Birmingham, B2 5E

Over 120 colleagues, volunteers and staff, came together over two days in Birmingham for CPRE’s annual conference and AGM. This was a milestone moment for CPRE as we launched both our new brand and strategy. After an extensive 18-month period of consultation and development it was fantastic to share a new visual identify for CPRE and our future strategic direction. Our full strategy is available to download here and over the summer a shorter version for external use will also be published.

Sir Andrew Motion, one of CPRE’s Vice Presidents, shared his thoughts as we opened the AGM via a short film which is available to watch here. On the second day we were treated to an inspirational speech by our President Emma Bridgewater who introduced us to the concept of ‘psycho-terratica’, the trauma caused by distance from nature*, and the need for ‘green sanity’.

* https://qz.com/1557308/psychoterratica-is-the-trauma-caused-by-distance-from-nature/

The theme of well-being grew through the day as we were treated to another short film from author and friend to CPRE Michael Morpurgo. Nearly 40 years ago, with his wife, Clare, he set up the charity Farms for City Children which has helped over 90,000 children visit their three farms at Gloucestershire, Wales and Iddesleigh in Devon, where this film was made.
Our guest speaker was Professor Miles Richardson. Miles is a Professor of Human Factors and Nature Connectedness at the University of Derby and has pioneered the first everyday interventions to bring about sustained increases in connection with nature and wellbeing. Miles’ research has shown that to connect with nature we need to do more than visit or count it, we must use more of our senses and emotions. He has helped other environmental charities like the National Trust and RSPB to improve the connections made by visitors to their properties and reserves with nature by applying the ‘pathways’ to Nature Connectedness. Later in the afternoon a workshop explored wellbeing further by asking us to think how CPRE might champion the benefits of the countryside for our wellbeing, as we strive to raise awareness of why it matters so much to our society and future (link to slides).

There were four consultative workshops giving delegates the opportunity to contribute their ideas and thoughts on specific areas of work. These were on climate change, well-being, positive planning and ways of working together. The notes from each of these sessions are currently being compiled and will be shared as soon as possible. The presentations given in all the sessions are available to download from our website below.

As you can see we had a busy, informative and very positive couple of days. As we look over the feedback we have received from delegates we will think about how to bottle the best of this year’s conference and build on it for 2020. Thank you to everyone who attended and made the conference such a success!

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