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Do you know how fragile our defence of the countryside is?

At a recent meeting in London, there were about 30 people in the room from CPRE branches up and down the county as far afield as Northumberland and Cornwall. During introductions it became clear very quickly how woefully inadequate our resources are to fight for our countryside, in the face of increasingly unfair odds.

That room of passionate people, mostly volunteers, is the only fragile thing which stands between the vast housing development power-house, supported by a profits driven Government, and the protection of our precious rural countryside.

  • Do you realise how close we are to losing a national asset which we as a nation rank with the royal family, Shakespeare and the NHS?
  • Did you know that there is no other organisation which exists solely to protect our beloved green spaces?

We work alongside increasingly furious and frantic community groups who are disparate and isolated, accused of being NIMBYs, and trying to find their way through the bureaucracy that is our planning system.

Anyone who has tried to combat the threat of unnecessary housing estates or retail emporiums or roads or hugely inappropriate wind farms – even in the green belt – will understand how fragile our objections can seem.

Instead we are allowing our green belts to be destroyed based on developers' propoganda: the most successful tactic of the rural developers was hijacking the housing crisis and claiming it could only be resolved by building in open country. But as the recent CPRE report ‘from wasted space to living space’ shows, there is no urgent need to sprawl onto greenfield sites. We still have capacity for more than one million homes including more than 400,000 with planning permission, on brownfield sites, which could provide the high quality and affordable housing that is needed to tackle the housing crisis.

Planning is a never-ending cycle: our planning officer, and his small team of volunteers, examine hundreds of planning applications, make detailed responses and deal with lengthy battles, for example in and Hatfield (Doncaster), Dinnington, Anston, Barnsley and Sheffield where Local Plans propose substantial losses to our Green Belts.

We make a difference. Please help us.

Please join us and join the fight to save our countryside: Support our appeal to fund staff time so that we can stand up and fight; attend hearings and inquiries; write opposition papers and advise local groups how to progress their own campaigns.

We need to raise £16,000 to make sure we have the resources to campaign for the areas you love and protect them from inappropriate developments.

Please donate today