Saving landscapes for future generations

Avatar for Joy Housham
By Joy Housham

Joy Housham helps CPRE Hampshire run their annual Countryside Awards.

I moved to Sparsholt from Chicago many moons ago and immediately appreciated the serenity of the lush, green landscape and the particular beauty of gently flowing shallow chalk streams. Spring’s magnificent show of bluebells in local woods never fails to take my breath away, but capturing them digitally in all their glory has evaded me for years!

At home, my small pond with its intricate web of wildlife has been my go-to place for solace and contemplation during the enforced coronavirus lockdown. I hope that in the future, people recognise that nature is not just ‘natural capital’ to be plundered for gain and profit but a fundamental part of who we are, and should we lose it, we lose ourselves.

'Nature is... a fundamental part of who we are, and should we lose it, we lose ourselves.'

I help CPRE Hampshire mainly with events, including the AGM, fundraising and the annual Countryside Awards. I meet and greet, serve refreshments and do light kitchen duties.

And every so often I join the small staff team and other volunteers at the CPRE Hampshire office in Winchester to assist with large mailshots requiring an army of envelope stuffers – actually more fun than it sounds!

Countryside Awards

In 2016, I was given the opportunity to ‘upgrade’ my volunteer status to lead the coordination of the Countryside Awards. This provided a fantastic chance to meet inspirational people from organisations, community and youth groups as well as businesses who actively work to support our thriving Hampshire countryside. I loved being part of the awards team and making a valuable contribution to the success of CPRE Hampshire’s showcase event.

Volunteering for a charity that has the best interests of the Hampshire countryside at its heart means a lot to me. I feel very fortunate to live in a beautiful part of the county but not everyone has access to the green spaces that are so vital for our health and wellbeing.

With Green Belts under threat across the UK, CPRE Hampshire is boldly campaigning for a new one in South Hampshire so I feel anything I can do to support this will help to realise their vision and save our amazing landscapes for future generations.

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: volunteeringteam@cpre.org.uk.

Joy Housham
Joy enjoying the bluebell woods at Farley Mount, Hampshire Joy Housham