From Calum McGregor, CPRE <[email protected]>
Subject The planning system in times of crisis, and nature during lockdown
Date May 9, 2020 8:13 AM
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In this issue: take action on planning, how nature is sustaining us in lockdown,
and discover the dawn chorus

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May 2020

Dear John

In these exceptional times, new planning legislation has been introduced by the
government to allow emergency infrastructure, such as hospitals, to be built.

The coronavirus pandemic has called for unusual measures. But the changes are
also leading to a worrying loss of public access to planning decisions. We’re
beginning to see local voices sidelined and undemocratic bypassing of public
access to the planning process – risking long-term loss of oversight and poor

This mustn’t be allowed to happen. Can you urge your MP to back a democratic
planning system?

Email your MP
[[link removed]]Read on for the latest news from us at CPRE, and some more ideas on how stay
connected to the countryside and each other, and to keep you occupied at home.


Connecting with nature and the countryside on our doorstep has been vital to the
wellbeing of millions of us during the pandemic.

Our poll with the Women’s Institute shows that more than half of people feel
more aware of the wellbeing benefits of green spaces, and two-thirds think that
protecting and enhancing these green spaces should be a higher priority for the
government after lockdown.

Many people have also felt a boost in community spirit.

Going back to business as usual is not an option – we have to build back better
and prioritise protecting and enhancing the open spaces we all enjoy.

Read more
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[[link removed]]Have you noticed a resurgence of birdsong during lockdown?

Tuning in to the dawn chorus – nature’s free concert – can really lift our
spirits, providing those little bursts of happiness that we all need in these
difficult times.

If you can’t hear them outside, we’ve put together a short video with 3 minutes
of pure birdsong delight for you all to enjoy.

If you want to try and identify the calls you can hear, check out our guide to common birds you can hear from home
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Watch on Facebook
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The government has suggested that they are likely to lift the 60-year ban on
sky-writing (writing messages in the sky with vapour trails from planes).

We’re calling for an urgent rethink. Now more than ever, we’re all aware of the
need for peace and tranquillity when spending time in the countryside.

Advertising is everywhere and it’s vital for our wellbeing that we can escape
this when we’re in the countryside. Our skies must be kept advert-free.

Read more
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Wildflowers are emerging from the undergrowth to cover the countryside in
flashes of brilliant colour. Even while our time in the great outdoors is
curtailed, we can still find extraordinary natural beauty in the most ordinary

Wildflower expert Peter Marren shares some of his favourite spring and early
summer blossoms and offers hints on where to find them close to home.

Discover wildflowers
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'It’s a brilliant thing that I’ve been able to use my love of the natural world
in my work'

One of Britain’s best-loved comedy stars, Mackenzie Crook, tells us why he loves
wildlife-spotting, how the countryside has inspired his work, and why might have
been a hedgelayer in another life...

Read the interview
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Last month I shared with you some of our staff’s favourite books about the
countryside and nature.

This month, we’re taking a look at the stories that sparked their love for the
countryside as children or young adults.

If you’re searching for stories to inspire any restless young people you have at
home, look no further.

Best countryside reads
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Thanks for everything you do to support the countryside. We wish you, your
family and friends all the best over the coming weeks and months.

Calum McGregor

Digital Engagement Officer

CPRE The countryside charity


CPRE is funded by donations from people like you. Together, we can help our
beautiful countryside thrive, for everyone’s benefit - now and for generations
to come.

Donate now
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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