Regenerate our Countryside, Regenerate Ourselves

Join the Regeneration

 

During coronavirus, many of us have connected more closely than ever to the nearby countryside and green spaces across Gloucestershire. In enjoying these places near to us, drawing breath on our daily walks or feeling calmed by watching wildlife, or in longing for the places we can’t access, we’ve realised how much we value our countryside next door and our local precious green oases.

Green spaces reinvent, refresh, regenerate us. They leave us healthier, fitter, calmer, happier; more ready to face what comes next. We need nature. We need the countryside. And we remember now that we must never take it for granted.

As we emerge from the coronavirus pandemic, the government has to make tough choices about how it’ll support the country and the economy’s recovery. Let’s hold onto that new, deeper understanding of how regenerated by green spaces we felt during the toughest of times, and how nature and the countryside cared for us. Let’s make sure that we now care more for the countryside in return.

Lockdown has given us a new era of awareness, a new recognition of the regenerative possibilities close at hand. Our recent poll found that two-thirds of people think protecting and enhancing green spaces should be a higher government priority after coronavirus. We have a unique chance to secure a better future for generations to come, a future where we can all access nature and the countryside to explore, live, grow, work, be inspired.

Our campaign #JoinTheRegeneration is about regenerating our green spaces, regenerating our rural economies, and regenerating ourselves. Our campaign video will air on Channel 4 during July so keep an eye out for it.

On 1st July 2020 the national CPRE manifesto Regenerate our countryside, regenerate ourselves: A manifesto for a resilient countryside after coronavirus was launched. It urges the government to seize this once in a generation opportunity to protect and invest in the countryside, support rural communities and break down the barriers too many face in accessing the health and wellbeing benefits of time in green spaces. Critically, our Green Belts, the countryside next door to 30 million people, and other countryside around large towns and cities which don’t currently have Green Belts, should see funding significantly increased to make sure they are enhanced and include greener farming techniques that could make our food supply more resilient to future shocks.

The manifesto was launched at a virtual debate with leading countryside and political voices, including Rhiane Fatinikun, founder of Black Girls Hike, Rt Hon Philip Dunne MP, Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee, Mike Amesbury MP, Shadow Minister for Housing and Planning and Caroline Lucas MP, Former Leader of the Green Party.

The manifesto outlines a vision for a resilient countryside with thriving rural communities that is open to everyone, whether visiting, living or working there. Key recommendations of the manifesto include:

  • Regenerate our green spaces: the government must support local councils and communities to deliver up-to-date local plans, adopt a truly ‘brownfield first’ policy and ensure that our Green Belts, our countryside next door, is enhanced through greater funding;
  • Regenerate ourselves: the government must guarantee every child a night in nature as recommended in the Glover landscape review, and increase funding for the many tried-and-tested community outreach projects that have already enabled greater engagement with the countryside for marginalised groups; and
  • Regenerate our rural economies: the government must establish a rural economy task force working across government to develop a comprehensive strategy for supporting the rural economy and invest in rural social housing to provide genuinely affordable homes for our key workers.

In focusing on regenerating our countryside, we regenerate ourselves.

 

Read the manifesto

Look out for our video on Channel 4

 

Our campaign video will be airing on Channel 4 this month.