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This has been a year that none of us will forget in a hurry. All of us have made
great sacrifices this year, and I know that many of you have had an
exceptionally difficult time - with many of those challenges continuing over the
Despite the challenges of the pandemic, we’ve remained focussed on working for
the countryside we all treasure, and I wanted to share with you some of the good
news we’ve had over the year.
During the first lockdown, we all looked to the outdoors for fresh air and
So, it came as no surprise when our research with the WI
[[link removed]] told us that nearly 60% of those surveyed said they’d become more aware of how
essential these green places are for our mental health and wellbeing.
This is something to which I can certainly attest - time out walking and on my
bike in green spaces proved an essential act of self-care during this
topsy-turvy year, as it has for many of us.
This idea of the countryside being essential to our wellbeing is one we built
upon with our ‘Regeneration’ campaign.
You may have seen our film celebrating the importance of nature to our wellbeing
[[link removed]] , while emphasising how we all need to take care of the countryside in return.
The latter half of the year has seen us lead a chorus of dissent about the
government’s damaging proposals to deregulate the planning system.
We won’t accept the removal of local voices and, although there’s still more to
do, we've already successfully persuaded ministers to rethink their so-called housing algorithm
[[link removed]] . This change is a promising move.
You’ve also helped us influence the government in many other ways.
From the government taking on board our recommendations on new housing design
[[link removed]] to seeing our impact on the new Agriculture Act
[[link removed]] , you’ve helped us achieve a real boost for our landscapes and nature.
As the year comes to a close, our thoughts are turning to a post-pandemic world
and how we might help ourselves and our countryside to move on.
As well as helping more people discover the joys and benefits of the countryside
for the first time, we’ll be striving to improve the lives of those who live
there by pushing for better support and services for rural economies.
But that is all for next year. For now, let us pause and raise a glass – or mug
of tea – to our shared love: the countryside, from its urban boltholes to the
wide expanses of our most iconic landscapes.
Thank you so much for your support this year. It means the world to us.
May I wish you and yours the very best for the festive season and a better 2021
for you and our much-loved countryside.
CPRE, the countryside charity
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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
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