Leicestershire Campaign to Protect Rural England

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90th Anniversary Conference a great success

Tuesday, 25 October 2016 07:41

Dame Fiona Reynolds Dame Fiona Reynolds

This was a great day celebrating 90 years of CPRE.

Many Leicestershire CPRE members joined colleagues from across CPRE’s East Midlands and Eastern regions for an informative and interesting day at a conference held in Peterborough in July.

The day reminded us of the significance of past battles, how much we owe to our predecessors and of why we need to continue fighting to protect the beauty of England and its countryside.

Highlights of the day included talks by Dame Fiona Reynolds, a former Director of CPRE and the author of a new book, “The Fight for Beauty” and by Oliver Hilliam, co-author of another new book, “22 Ideas that saved the English Countryside”.

Dame Fiona took us through the history of the fight to have the beauty of Britain’s nature and landscape recognised in public policies and legislation.  She described how inspirational indviduals such as Octavia Hill and organisations such as CPRE and the National Trust had contributed to this fight.
Oliver’s talk focussed on the formation and work of CPRE.  In particular he sketched out how the pressures that were changing the character of rural England in the 1920s led to the formation of the Council for the Preservation of Rural England in December 1926.  He then pointed to some of CPRE’s successes that are more fully discussed in his book.

The day, however, was not just about celebrating the past. It was very much about CPRE’s role today and in the future.  Members were able to share ideas and experiences through workshops that focussed on aspects of branch development, communication, campaigning and making our voice heard in the planning system.

Thanks goes to the organisers, especially the two Regional Secretaries, Caroline Adams and Tracey Hipson, for their work in organising this rewarding day and successful conference.


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