Leicestershire Campaign to Protect Rural England

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Happy 80th Birthday CPRE Leicestershire

Thursday, 16 March 2017 12:20

Oliver Hilliam spoke at the 80th Anniversary event Oliver Hilliam spoke at the 80th Anniversary event

 A great evening celebrating 80 years of CPRE in Leicestershire


CPRE Leicestershire members, friends and invited guests enjoyed an entertaining and informative evening celebrating the 80th anniversary of the formation of the Leicestershire Branch in December 1936. The event also recognized the creation of CPRE nationally in December 1926.

The highlight of the evening was a fascinating talk by Oliver Hilliam, co-author of ‘22 Ideas that saved the English Countryside’ and Senior Communications and Information Officer at CPRE National Office.

Some Leicestershire figures had played key roles in the early years of CPRE.  In particular, Oliver emphasised the importance of Harry Hardy Peach, a well-known Leicester conservationist, and how his photos of damage to the countryside contributed to formation of our branch and subsequently led to branch’s early publication, ‘Save Leicestershire’s Countryside’.

His talk was followed by a showing of the now digitalised film ‘Leicestershire – a Heritage at Risk’ made by CPRE Leicestershire in 1970. This interesting film highlighted the threats to Leicestershire’s countryside and its heritage. It also showed what CPRE was doing on these issues.  Some of the matters raised have since been taken in hand by planners and developers, but some of the threats are little changed.

The evening ended with a vote of thanks from Colonel Robert Martin, whose great uncle and father had been involved with CPRE in the past. He reflected on the important work of CPRE both locally and nationally and the importance that people, especially the young, have connections to the countryside and nature.

This well attended event was held at a fantastic venue - Roots Farm Shop in Barkby Thorpe.  Fliss and her team provided a buffet of excellent and tasty light refreshments. Roots Farm Shop was kind enough to extend its evening opening so attendees could sample and purchase some of their excellent produce.

Commenting on a successful evening, branch Chairman, Richard Windley, commented:

 “The enthusiasm and commitment of the Branch is very heartening. This is increasingly essential as we look to continuing our campaigns in the future. We cannot take the preservation of our beautiful countryside for granted.”

He continued: “There are, of course, welcome developments but without our continued watchfulness and necessary intervention poor decisions will continue to be taken.”  .

Here's to the next 80 years.



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