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Fighting for the countryside

Alex Hills
By Alex Hills

Alex Hills is the current Chair of the CPRE Gravesham District Committee and has been an active campaigner and supporter of CPRE Kent for many years. Alex tells us in his own words how and why he became involved with CPRE.

I’ve been a CPRE activist for many years. My wife died suddenly at the age of 49 in September 2019 which completely devastated me. In November 2019 the CPRE Kent Gravesham committee was reformed and I was delighted when the members, many of whom had worked with me on campaigns over the years, nominated me to be Chair.

Dedicated environmentalist

I’m an environmentalist because my pagan beliefs mean I can’t allow the destruction of our countryside without a fight. My late wife had reduced lung capacity and a heart condition so I’m very aware of how air pollution effects human health. This is why air pollution and transport matters are so important to me.

I’m a firm believer that if everyone did a little to help the environment we would live in a better world. For example, if everyone did just one less car journey a week, there would be notable improvements in air quality.

'I’m a firm believer that if everyone did a little to help the environment we would live in a better world.'

My wife played a big part in supporting me with my volunteering and was instrumental in me being awarded the Marsh Christian Award in 2012 for CPRE campaigning work. Many dedicated volunteers have a supportive partner in the background and to me they are the unsung heroes of CPRE.

Nomination for CPRE Countryside Volunteer Award

Alex was nominated for a CPRE Countryside Volunteer Award in 2020. CPRE Kent Director Hilary Newport, who made the nomination, had this to say:

‘Alex has thrown himself more deeply into his CPRE volunteering roles with energy and commitment over the past couple of years, whilst also having a full-time job he enjoys. He’s done so during a time of great personal struggle, during which he had to navigate the healthcare requirements of his late wife. These circumstances would have floored most people, but Alex has continued to provide incredible support to CPRE and we are proud to have him on board.’

'If you can inspire people to act it’s amazing the talents you can find.'

Alex is typically humble as he tells us: ‘I’m blessed to have an experienced hard-working committee – they rose to meet the massive challenges involved with the ‘Stop the Green Belt Grab’ campaign.’ He also praises the talent within his community, adding: ‘We’ve drawn on excellent talent in our borough. If you can inspire people to act it’s amazing the talents you can find and we were lucky to find many such people during the campaign.’

Could you spare some time to volunteer for your local CPRE and stand with the countryside that you love? Learn more about the experience of volunteering for CPRE, the countryside charity, or drop us a line:

The beautiful Kent countryside
The beautiful Kent countryside Pixabay

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The legacy of Ethel’s vision and determination lives on thanks to the continued efforts of the Friends of the Peak District, and she remains an inspiration to everyone within CPRE