From Calum McGregor, CPRE <[email protected]>
Subject Let’s reclaim our starry skies
Date February 8, 2020 8:41 AM
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In this issue of Campaigns Update: Star Count, good housing design, rural
transport, Green Belt appeal

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February 2020

Dear John

We’re counting the stars this February – and we need your help. A star-filled
sky is one of the most incredible sights our countryside offers, and on a dark
clear night, we should be able to see thousands of stars.

But light pollution means that many of us can’t enjoy these starry skies,
especially if we live near big towns or cities.

So we’re asking you to look up at the sky between 21-28 February and tell us how
many stars you can see with the naked eye within the constellation of Orion.
Don’t worry - you don’t need a telescope or any special equipment.

You’ll help us create a map of the best spots to see the stars, and where light
pollution is most serious, so we can work with local councils and others to take
action to reduce it. Will you get stargazing?

Yes, I'll take part
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We know that new housing often isn’t designed with the needs of people and the
environment in mind. We’ve been working with UCL to look at the quality of new
housing in order to find ways to improve it.

The results are worrying. We found that a staggering 94% of developments in
rural areas shouldn’t have gone ahead due to ‘mediocre’ or ‘poor’ design – so
we’re calling on housebuilders to drastically raise their game if we’re to
create the sorts of places that future generations will feel proud to call home.

There’s good news, too: we’ve already had an impact. An influential government
commission to improve the design of housing has cited our research, and we’ll be
pushing the government to support their findings.

Find out more
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From young people that need to get to college to those in later life that want
to stay connected to friends and family, poor public transport makes our
countryside less sustainable for everyone. It can also make rural life
impossible for those who don’t have access to a car.

Our research looked at the south west and north east of England, and found that
more than half of small towns in these areas are, or could soon become,
‘transport deserts’ – places with no options for convenient and affordable
public transport.

We’ve plotted out a route for change, including pushing for a dedicated rural
transport fund to support communities with sustainable transport options to help
tackle the climate emergency.

Find out more
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During a time of national and political change, it’s even more important to keep
sight of the things we can all unite around, such as the need to protect and
invest in our Green Belts, for the benefit of us all.

But this important national asset continues to be under threat. We need
donations now to help us:

* Lobby the new government to uphold Green Belt protection

* Support work to enhance existing Green Belt land and new Green Belts where
they’re needed

* Continue gathering evidence about developments planned for Green Belt, so
that we can challenge the new government to fulfil its promise to protect it.

Please support this vital work with a donation.
[[link removed]] Thanks in advance for your support: it really makes a difference.

Donate today
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There’s so much evidence that the time we spend in peaceful green spaces has
important benefits for our wellbeing.

That’s why we’re committed to connecting people with this wonderful natural
resource and making sure that it’s healthy and thriving for us all, now and in
the future.

We’ve worked with renowned children’s author Michael Morpurgo to create a
powerful short video about the importance of finding this connection to the
natural world.

So far, thousands of people have watched it. Will you watch and share it too?

Watch on Facebook
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Lots of us know that time in the countryside can make us feel better. But some
organisations are going a step further and using the countryside as a tonic to
give people’s wellbeing a real boost.

We spoke to three groups that are using nature's restorative properties to help
those that struggle with their mental health. Here are their stories.

Discover their stories
[[link removed]]As always, thank you for supporting our work and helping to make the countryside
even better, for everyone.

Best wishes,

Calum McGregor

Digital Engagement Officer

CPRE campaigns for a better future for the English countryside. We work locally
and nationally to promote, enhance and protect a beautiful, thriving countryside
for everyone to value and enjoy. Founded in 1926, we’re a grassroots
organisation, with more than 100 local groups, a branch in every county and
60,000 members and supporters. CPRE is a registered charity (1089685) and a
company registered in England (4302973). CPRE holds and manages data in strict
accordance with the Data Protection Act (2018). Read our Privacy Policy
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Campaign to Protect Rural England, 5-11 Lavington Street, London, SE1 0NZ.
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