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Our vision for the countryside

Tall grasses at White Horse Hill Tall grasses at White Horse Hill Photo: © Jane Tomlinson

Unlike many environmental charities, CPRE has no vested interests – we own no land, we rely solely on donations and grants, and are politically independent. We make decisions with the head not the heart, as much as we love the countryside, and we are possibly the only green group which has a completely holistic approach. Planning, in particular, is all about looking at the bigger picture, and our wide remit means we have to consider the whole of the country – rural and urban – when creating policy.

Unlike many environmental charities, CPRE has no vested interests – we own no land, rely solely on donations and grants, and are politically independent. We make decisions with the head not the heart, as much as we love the countryside, and we are possibly the only green group which has a completely holistic approach. Planning, in particular, is all about looking at the bigger picture, and our wide remit means we have to consider the whole of the country – rural and urban – when creating policy. We want to see a protected countryside, but within the context of a healthier economy and a happier community, and we don’t think they are mutually exclusive.

Achievements like the Oxford Green Belt and careful rural planning to maintain local character don't just happen they take decades of campaigning, careful organisation and reasoned argument.

The reason we were able to achieve these things? We were armed with a clear and compelling vision, in the form of Sir Patrick Abercrombie’s manifesto. This vision remains as our guiding principles.

We think

Better planning will reinvigorate towns and cities, and local people should be able to take an active role in planning our energy and transport infrastructure.

New life in the countryside will emerge through affordable housing, transport, vital services and new business shaped by rural communities themselves.

Our landscapes should incorporate wilderness, woodlands and wetlands, encouraging wildlife and allowing nature to become a barrier to climate change. Urban green spaces will link people in cities to our finest landscapes using Green Belts and hedgerows as wildlife corridors.

Green energy should be in harmony with the landscape to benefit local communities and minimise damage to the environment. Buildings should be energy efficient and have close to zero-carbon emissions. And the dirty orange glare of light pollution needs attention.

Local food production will see farmers thrive and provide healthy, fresh and seasonal food for us all. Farmland will be recognised as far too valuable to build on – for its beauty as well as its productivity – and we will get close to self-sufficiency in food, hugely reducing food miles.

We want to change attitudes so that beauty, tranquillity, green spaces and local character will be valued and nurtured, making quality of life and wellbeing as important as financial prosperity and economic growth.

Please join us and stand up for Oxfordshire with us!

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