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Emma Bridgewater announced as new CPRE President

24 May 2016

Emma Bridgewater announced as new CPRE President

Pottery designer and businesswoman Emma Bridgewater is to be the new President of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), succeeding former Poet Laureate Sir Andrew Motion, who served four years in the role.

Emma has become 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 has a clear perspective on the pressures our countryside faces and is passionate about the benefits of urban regeneration. She is keen to support CPRE’s campaign to prioritise investment in brownfield land over releasing further greenfield sites for development.

On her appointment as CPRE President, Emma Bridgewater said:

“I have a clear mission for my tenure as president of the CPRE: to encourage continuing development on suitable brownfield sites and so help drive the dynamism that development will bring to our towns and cities – and in doing so protect our countryside.

“This will enable our inner cities not just to benefit from redevelopment but help them give rise to the creativity that flourishes when we invest in making our urban centres work for people. And by concentrating on that regeneration we will safeguard the countryside, that vital escape and sustaining hinterland that our urban centres especially need so much.”

Former CPRE President Sir Andrew Motion said:

“I’m delighted that Emma Bridgewater is to succeed me as the President of CPRE; she'll do a tremendous job in helping the organisation to protect our precious countryside at a time when it’s under graver threats than ever before.

“I am also delighted to have been asked to stay on as Vice President, and will do whatever I can to help the cause in that role.”

Sir Andrew served the charity with distinction between June 2012 and May 2016. He campaigned strongly against the Government’s 2012 planning reforms and sought to place visions of a beautiful but thriving countryside at the heart of planning policy. He also made several notable AGM speeches and questioned the main party leaders ahead of the General Election in 2015 [1].

Emma was formally unveiled as the charity’s new president yesterday, at an event to launch CPRE’s new book, ‘22 Ideas that saved the English countryside’ [2]. Published as part of CPRE’s 90th anniversary celebrations, and with its historic campaigns for Green Belts and National Parks at the heart of the story, the book explores the origins, personalities and achievements of the wider conservation movement in England [3].



Notes for editors

[1] ‘Larkin was right: we risk destroying England’, CPRE AGM, 2013; ‘The countryside and Englishness’, CPRE AGM, 2014; ‘Andrew Motion quizzes the leaders’, CPRE, 2015.

[2] The event, held at Hatchards bookshop, Piccadilly, was attended by CPRE members and supporters, as well as some of the former CPRE Presidents who contributed chapter introductions to the book.

• David Puttnam, CPRE President between 1986 and 1992, remarked on the unique role of the CPRE in his contribution to the book:

“CPRE’s founders had a unique vision for England: a future where new development would allow the economy to grow, and society to progress, without sacrificing the countryside. Ninety years on, it’s time to salute an organisation which remains as relevant as ever.”

• Jonathan Dimbleby, CPRE President between 1992 and 1997, recalled CPRE’s first major success - against urban sprawl along main roads:

“The campaign not only helped to arrest ‘ribbon development’ directly through an Act of Parliament in 1935 but also pioneered the values and principles which underpinned subsequent Town and Country Planning laws and the creation of Green Belts as national policy sixty years ago. Nothing could better illustrate CPRE’s potential to protect the present and to enhance the future character of our precious landscape. Never has the role of CPRE been more crucial.”

• Sir Max Hastings, CPRE President between 2002 and 2007 wrote:

“The history of the past century shows that planning has served us extraordinarily well in preserving the best of the countryside and controlling development. CPRE has played a critical role in shaping planning, and in fighting for the preservation of statutory restrictions on development.”

[3] 22 Ideas that saved the English countryside, written by former CPRE Chairman Peter Waine and Oliver Hilliam, is published by Frances Lincoln on 2 June.

For more information please contact Benjamin Halfpenny on 020 7981 2819 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) fights for a better future for the English countryside. We work locally and nationally to protect, shape and enhance a beautiful, thriving countryside for everyone to value and enjoy. Our members are united in their love for England’s landscapes and rural communities, and stand up for the countryside, so it can continue to sustain, enchant and inspire future generations. Founded in 1926, President: Emma Bridgewater, Patron: Her Majesty The Queen.

© 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