In this issue: Mobilising councillors, rural homelessness and hedgerows through the seasons

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Dear Richard W.

As a second lockdown starts in England, we’re once again reminded of the importance of the countryside and green space for our mental and physical wellbeing.

Nature can lift our spirits, and so we hope that you can find moments in your day to connect with nature close to home.

If you need inspiration, check out the Discover our countryside section on our website.

Read on for all the latest updates and news from all of us at CPRE, the countryside charity.

Planning campaign – let’s get local


Thank you to everyone who has taken part in our campaign against the government’s damaging plans to dismantle the planning system.

Thousands of you have signed our petition, written to your MPs or made a donation to help build momentum, and the government is now firmly on the back foot.

The next stage of the campaign is to build support with elected representatives at the local level.

So will you write to your local councillor, asking them to sign our open letter defending local planning?

We’ve written a message that you can personalise, so it should only take a minute.

Recycling land


We’re used to recycling plastic bottles – but what about recycling land?

Recycling previously used land (known as brownfield) can help us protect our precious green spaces for people and nature – while regenerating our towns, cities and villages.

Our latest report has found that there’s enough brownfield land for over a million homes.

This is enough to meet government housing targets for the next five years, and undermines government claims that the current planning system slows down housebuilding.

Discover why it’s time we recycled more of our land.

Hedgerows through the seasons


We could easily take the hedgerows that trail across our countryside for granted.

But these innocuous-looking, familiar features of the landscape are superheroes – they provide habitats for wildlife, help tackle climate change, and can provide many a tasty treat.

So are you ready to get out and get exploring in your areas?

Here’s our guide to hedgerows through the seasons, how to identify them, and how to use these common plants and trees in your kitchen.

Tackling rural homelessness


Everyone deserves a safe place to live, wherever they are.

But our research has found that rural homelessness has doubled in the past two years – and continuing to deregulate the planning system will only make this situation worse.

We’re calling for urgent investment in social housing for rural communities to help communities build back better and deliver a much-needed boost to local economies.

We’ve found that every 10 new affordable homes built could boost the economy by a huge £1.4 million – let’s do it!

Hidden histories of the countryside


To mark Black History Month, we asked some of our contributors and supporters to nominate a place that has a particular significance, or has shaped their understanding of Black history in the UK.

Discover some fascinating personal accounts from presenter Gillian Burke, entertainer and educator Baroness Floella Benjamin, and many others.

As always, thanks for everything you do to support the countryside.

Best wishes,

Calum McGregor
Digital Engagement Officer

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.

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